Exposure In Chest X Ray

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Increased radiation exposure may raise your child’s risk for future cancer. Different types of X-ray tests use different amounts of radiation. For example, a standard X-ray of the chest provides about the same amount of radiation that you would normally get from background environmental radiation in 2 to 3 days.

  1. Exposure Time For Chest X-ray
  2. Reasons For Chest X Ray
  3. Chest X Ray Terminology

The exact amount of radiation exposure in an x-ray procedure varies depending on the part of the body receiving the x-ray. Some examples of common x-ray procedures and approximate exposures are:

  • The increased possibility of cancer induction from x-ray radiation exposure. The probability for absorbed x-rays to induce cancer or heritable mutations leading to genetically associated diseases.
  • The exposure factors and accessories needed when performing the chest x-ray or examining the thoracic viscera depend on the radiographic characteristic of the patient’s pathologic condition. A high penetration (kVp) of xray is usually use demonstrate all thoracic anatomy on the radiograph.
  • Asbestos can show up in a chest X-ray, as well as other imaging tests for the body, according to the Mayo Clinic. There are different illnesses one can get from having asbestos in the body, not limited to asbestosis and mesothelioma. In both cases, the symptoms can overlap with symptoms of other common illnesses.
  • CT scans can expose you to as much radiation as 200 chest X-rays. CT emits a powerful dose of radiation, in some cases equivalent to about 200 chest X-rays, or the amount most people would be.

Single chest x-ray: 0.02 mSv (2 mrem)

Exposure Time For Chest X-ray

Dental x-ray (four bitewings): 0.004 mSv (0.4 mrem)

X ray exposure chart

Limbs and joints: 0.06 mSv (6 mrem)


Abdomen: 0.7 mSv (70 mrem)

X ray exposure chart

Mammogram (four images): 0.13 mSv (13 mrem)

Source: National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements (NCRP), Report No. 160 Exit

Generally, the radiation received during an x-ray is small compared to other radiation sources (e.g., radon in the home). The average annual radiation dose from natural background sources (for comparison) is 3.0 mSv (300 mrem). For more information on radiation sources, see the Radiation Sources and Doses webpage or calculate your radiation dose.

ExposureExposure In Chest X Ray

Reasons For Chest X Ray

Learn about Radiation Terms and Units like mSv and mrem, which are used to measure radiation dose.

Chest X Ray Terminology

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