Answer to Question #8119 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Medical and Dental Equipment/Shielding — Shielding

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:

I am 14 weeks pregnant and accompanied a friend to have a CT scan at a large medical center. On the way to have the scan, the nurse said I can't be in the same room. I am not sure how far away the room was (since we were on the way there). Is there any possibility the radiation could have reached me? Thanks.


It is standard procedure to keep nonessential persons out of any x-ray room during an x-ray procedure (whether you are pregnant or not). X-ray rooms are typically shielded to protect persons outside the x-ray room from unnecessary exposure. Assuming the facility you were in meets requirements for the state in which it is located, you were in an area where the amount of radiation exposure (if any) to you (or your unborn child) from their routine procedures was below limits set by that state.

Ken "Duke" Lovins, CHP
Health Physicist


Answer posted on 17 March 2009. The information posted on this web page is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may affect the applicability of concepts, materials, and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice. To the best of our knowledge, answers are correct at the time they are posted. Be advised that over time, requirements could change, new data could be made available, and Internet links could change, affecting the correctness of the answers. Answers are the professional opinions of the expert responding to each question; they do not necessarily represent the position of the Health Physics Society.