Society News Archive

23 August 2007
HPA Press Release - X-ray radiation doses continue to fall

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) of the United Kingdom recently issued the press release "X-ray radiation doses continue to fall." The HPA reports that "the amount of radiation to which patients are exposed when they have medical x-rays is continuing to fall, according to the Health Protection Agency's latest five-yearly review of the National Patient Dose Database."

Dr. Fred Mettler, Jr., provided comment to the HPS website staff when asked about the paper he presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), which concluded, "The average U.S. resident American is exposed to nearly six times as much radiation from medical devices than in 1980." Dr. Mettler, commenting that the HPA report is very "thorough and useful," pointed out that it only addresses individual procedure doses without discussion of population doses, which his report addressed.  In the United States, we are also looking at dosimetry variations due to the increased use of computed radiography (CR), which increases patient dose, and digital radiography (DR), which decreases patient dose.  Perhaps more importantly, the HPA study does not include computed tomography (CT) procedures, the major contributor to increased population dose in the United States.