Answer to Question #9547 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Radiation Workers

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

Q

Are there any regulations in the United States or for employees in a dental practice that a film badge dosimeter (or other monitoring device) should be used? 

A

Thank you for your question. Typically, states regulate when individuals exposed to radiation in the workplace should be badged.

Most of the time, states require an individual to be badged if that person is expected to receive 10 percent of the annual maximum permissible dose. The maximum is 50 mSv whole-body dose per year so, if a person could receive 5 mSv per year in the course of their employment, they should be badged.

According to a report from the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP 2003), persons working in dentistry average about 0.7 mSv per year (about a tenth of the amount that requires badging). This obviously can vary depending on what the workers are doing, but for most, if they are not near the patient at the time of the exposure, it is unlikely they would come close to or exceed the 10 percent requirement.

You would need to check your local state regulations, though, to be sure about the requirements.

Kelly Classic
Certified Medical Health Physicist

Reference
National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. Radiation protection in dentistry. Bethesda, MD: NCRP; NRCP Report 145; 2003.

Ask the Experts is posting answers using only SI (the International System of Units) in accordance with international practice. To convert these to traditional units we have prepared a conversion table. You can also view a diagram to help put the radiation information presented in this question and answer in perspective. Explanations of radiation terms can be found here.
Answer posted on 8 March 2011. 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.