X-Ray Dangers

X Rays are not the harmless, miraculous health "helps" we used to think they were. Instead, X Rays are something many people will want to avoid unless absolutely necessary. X Rays are not the best diagnostic tool for all things.

How much radiation does a person receive in an average dental X Ray? Here's a comparison, measured in millirems; the standard measure of radiation absorption by human cells:


Flight from Los Angeles to Paris (cosmic rays) 4.8 Millirems.

Chest X Ray (l film) 6-30 Millirems.

Contamination 1/2 mile from Three Mile Island during nuclear accident 83.0 Millirems.

Apollo X astronauts on moon flight (cosmic rays) 480.0 Millirems.

Dental X-ray (whole mouth) 25-36 Millirems.

On-site dose at Three Mile Island accident 1100.0 Millirems.

Breast mammography (1 film) 1500.0 Millirems.

Current N.A.S. yearly occupational exposure accumulative limit is 5000.0 Millirems.

It becomes questionable whether each visit to a docter/dentist should be almost the equivalent of visiting a nuclear power plant during an "accident," or if it should "use up" almost one-fifth of what the N.A.S. considers a yearly maximum for folks working around radiation.

A famous minister is supposed to have given his son some advice about preaching as the younger man embarked on his career in the pulpit. He said, "Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em. Then tell 'em. Then tell 'em what you done told 'em. Then shut up."

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