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To the Editor.—
In a recent issue of The Journal (226:799, 1973) a discussion of radiation exposure risks from chest x-ray examinations was inadvertently misleading. The writer discussed the radiation exposure in terms of the usual skin dose which is 30 to 50 mrem to the chest or about one third to one fourth of background radiation. The medically significant radiation exposure, however, is the gonadal dose. This dose, under optimum conditions, is only 1/400 to 1/800 of that that the skin receives (Selman J: The Fundamentals of X-ray and Radium Physiology. Springfield, Ill, Charles C Thomas Publisher, 1972, pp 475-477.) and under average conditions was still only 1 millirad in the male and 6 millirads in the female (Radiological Hazards to Patients, Ministry of Health of Scotland. London, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1958, 1960, and 1966).Medical x-ray examinations are a very significant factor in radiation exposure of the
Swartz HM. Radiation Risks From Chest Examinations. JAMA. 1974;228(6):696. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230310018013
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