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

Category: Radiation Workers

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


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? 


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

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

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