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Consumer Tips

Reducing Your Exposure to X-rays

  • A doctor should examine you first, to determine if there is a clinical need for the x-ray. Ask your doctor if the x-ray is necessary. image of shoulder x-ray
  • Be certain that you or your child's gonadal area receives some type of protective shielding when the gonadal area is being x-rayed unless the shield will interfere with the diagnosis. There is usually some type of leaded shield such as a leaded apron for dental x-rays. For medical x-rays, different types and sizes of leaded shielding (adult, child) should be used to protect the area. 

  • If you change doctors, ask that your old x-rays be sent to your new doctor. 

  • If you are referred to another doctor, make sure that any x-rays already taken for your current problem are sent to the new doctor.

  • As an agency, we strive to keep radiation exposure as low as reasonably possible to stay within the boundaries of the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) standard. As a general statement, less is better.

  • Visit the Image Gently website for information about radiation safety in pediatric imaging.

  • Visit the Image Wisely website for information about radiation safety in adult medical imaging.

Additional resources