X-rays and their safety

Safety of medical X-rays and scans

A medical x-ray or scan is a safe procedure and will be fully justified by a trained practitioner (usually a radiologist or radiographer) to ensure there will be a net benefit to the patient.

X-ray information

Further information on the use and safety of x-rays can be found on the NHS Choices website, X-rays, and general information about radiation can be found at radiation.

A useful pamphlet describing the types of x-ray exams or scans and their risks can be accessed here, X-rays - how safe are they?

Public Health England provides a Medical Radiation ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ factsheet on their website, Medical Radiation - FAQ.

X-ray and pregnancy

If you require an x-ray whilst you are pregnant then there is some excellent advice at, Can I have an X-ray if I'm pregnant?

Airport security scanners

Airport scanners are safe and the public should be reassured by their use. The radiation dose from an airport x-ray body scanner is tiny and is comparable to about one hour of natural background radiation. A joint press release was issued by the BIR and the Royal College of Radiologists in 2011 which includes a statement on the justification for their use. Not all airport body scanners use x-rays. The alternative terahertz scanner uses radio wave frequencies so there is no comparable radiation dose.  

A Joint Report from The British Institute of Radiology and The Royal College of Radiologists (2011) provides more details about the radiation dose and the practical use of these scanners Airport Security Scanners & Ionising Radiation . Public Health England also have some useful information on their site Body Scanners.

Some links for further information






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