Answer to Question #7270 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"
The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:
In general, all x rays are different with regard to the amount of radiation received by the operator, so it is not easy to come up with a number of x rays that you can "safely" take compared to a number that would be "unsafe." If you follow a facility policy/procedure as an x-ray technologist, you are probably wearing a lead apron, standing as far away from the x-ray unit as possible (at least 1.82 meters and using an exposure switch on a cord or one that is wireless), and wearing a personnel dosimeter (often known as a film badge). These practices will maximize your protection and should lead to radiation doses to you that are considerably lower than dose limits.
Instead of a "safe" number of x rays that you can take, your risk from radiation is measured by your personnel dosimeter, which indicates how much radiation dose you receive during your work. The amount of radiation that you are permitted to receive is regulated by the state you are in and is typically 50 millisieverts per year for whole-body exposure. Your facility should have a radiation safety officer who can give you access to your dosimetry results and be able to explain them to you. Typically, for x-ray technologists who perform only radiographic procedures, radiation doses are below 10 percent of the dose limits, which indicates that you are well below the amount of radiation exposure that would be of any concern.
Kennith "Duke" Lovins, CHP