In Reply to: X-Radiation / Safety posted by Scott Cargill on 12/01/02 at 1:09 AM:
Thanks for your advice about radiation safety! It is appreciated, and of course we all hope that people who operate ANY type of radiation generating equipment will be conciencious about safety, for them, and for the people in their immediate vicinity.
I wonder if you wouldn't mind answering a question that I have been wondering about for many years, but haven't found any statistics on it. Most of us who have studied the history of X-rays have read about people in the early days who have been burned, and have
died from excessive exposure to X-rays. That was in the early days before people understood the hazards of ionizing radiation. In modern times, with proper safety equipment, well designed X-ray generating equipment (which all include filtration that attenuates the low
energy photons), etc., do you know of any incidents where people have been seriously burned, or gotten cancer, or died, or have gotten any other ailment from X-ray exposure? I have the attitude that we must take reasonable precautions when working with any type of radiation
generating equipment, but I believe that there is way too much FEAR that people have. People traditionally fear what they don't understand, especially if they can't see it, smell it, taste it, or feel it. This is the case with X-rays. Because I repair Dental X-ray machines for
a living, some of my friends and family members ask me ignorant questions like, "Do you glow in the dark?", or "Are you concerned about getting cancer from those things?", etc. There are many more government regulations on X-ray generating equipment than on tobacco products. Yet,
tobacco products kill a half-million people per year. X-rays, to my knowledge, haven't killed anyone in decades! Go figure it.