[Oradlist] [Fwd: MEDHP-SEC: Radiation From Medical Scans Soaring]

Stuart C. White swhite at dentistry.ucla.edu
Thu Oct 29 06:22:36 PDT 2009

The data discussed by Fred Mettler came from a study he lead for the NCRP -
see http://www.ncrponline.org/Publications/160_Pie_charts.html for more


On 10/28/09 5:58 PM, "S. Julian Gibbs" <j.gibbs at vanderbilt.edu> wrote:

> ---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
> Subject: MEDHP-SEC: Radiation From Medical Scans Soaring
> From:    "Ralph Lieto" <LietoR at trinity-health.org>
> Date:    Wed, October 28, 2009 12:24 pm
> To:      medhp-sec at hps1.org
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2009/10/27/radiation-from-m
> edical-scans-soaring.html
> Radiation From Medical Scans Soaring
> Americans now get 6-fold more exposure than in 1980, researchers say
> By Amanda Gardner
> HealthDay Reporter
> TUESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Americans' exposure to radiation from
> medical procedures has exploded over the past few decades, to six times
> the level of 1980, a new report shows.
> In 2006, almost 380 million diagnostic and interventional radiological
> procedures were performed in the United States, on top of 18 million
> nuclear medicine examinations.
> "Back in about 1980, 15 percent of radiation that the U.S. population got
> was from medicine and the rest was predominantly from natural background
> radiation," noted Dr. Fred Mettler Jr., U.S. Representative to the United
> Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and a
> professor of radiology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. "In
> the last 20 years, medical exposure has gone up between 600 and 700
> percent from what it was, and it is now the biggest source of radiation to
> the U.S. population."
> "The issue," Mettler continued, "is that this is a controllable source. We
> regulate the effluent from nuclear power plants so the public doesn't get
> exposure but medical exposure is essentially unregulated. The largest
> source in the U.S. is essentially unregulated, and it's up to your family
> doctor or any other doctor to hand it out."
> Mettler is lead author of a paper appearing in the November issue of
> Radiology that summarizes the conclusions of two previous reports on
> radiation sources in the U.S. Those reports were issued by the U.S.
> National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and the United
> Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation.
> The findings are in line with previous studies, one of which attributed up
> to two percent of all cancers to CT scans alone and another which
> concluded that cumulative exposure to radiation from CT scans increases
> the risk for malignancy by as much as 12 percent
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