Ionizing radiation is radiation with enough energy to remove electrons from the orbit of an atom, causing the atom to become charged. A small dose of ionizing radiation from a single X-ray is not usually harmful. But frequent exposure to small amounts of radiation could result in the onset of some of the symptoms of radiation sickness. These symptoms can include:
Loss of Appetite
Vomiting, Diarrhea and Nausea
Over time, there could be long-term effects of radiation exposure, such as a loss of white blood cells, a reduction in platelets, fertility problems, and changes in kidney function. There is also some correlation between excess radiation exposure and an increased risk of cancer. While the risk is certainly higher when a person is exposed to a large amount of radiation at one time, the cumulative effects of low radiation can’t be ignored.
Fetuses and children are at particular risk for radiation sickness, because their cells divide rapidly, and radiation can disrupt that process. For this reason, the Society for Pediatric Radiology began the Image Gently campaign in 2006. The campaign encourages providers to “child-size” radiation doses and exposure times, and use X-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans for children only if needed — not on a routine basis.
Limiting radiation doses is a good practice for patients, but what about for health care professionals who regularly work with radiation? If you work in health care, the best way to protect yourself is to wear an Instadose®+ dosimeter which measures the amount of cumulative radiation to which you are exposed. Unlike film dosimeters, which must be collected and sent off before you can learn your radiation dose, Instadose+ dosimeters can give you on-demand exposure results and answers right away.
Radiation can have many harmful effects on the body, which is why it’s important to take precautions NOW and KNOW your radiation dose exposure level.
If you are exposed to small amounts of radiation often, you could develop radiation sickness.
Fetuses and children are at particular risk for radiation sickness.
The Instadose+ dosimeter wirelessly monitors your radiation exposure, so you and can better protect yourself.