How come x-ray machines don’t irradiate you? I know “smaller dose of radiation” ,but wouldn’t that have some effect anyway?

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How come x-ray machines don’t irradiate you? I know “smaller dose of radiation” ,but wouldn’t that have some effect anyway?

In: Technology

They certainly do irradiate you, a little in a specific area. This is why X-ray technicians who are around the machine every day will wear lead protective gear, or stand far away when turning on the machine. And it’s why we don’t just get X-ray pictures of everything all the time for fun.

I mean they do technically, same way the sun does. Think of it like heat. Staying in a sauna for hours can be dangerous but just walking in an out is fine even if its hot inside.

Thats why the technicians can’t stay in the room because they are around for a lot longer, but your exposure is so brief that its likely hood of causing damage is really really small.

X-ray machines do cause radiation damage, you should limit lifetime exposure to them.

The type of radiation they emit (X-rays, obviously) doesn’t generate more radioactive nuclei so they won’t leave you radioactive like exposure to pulverized nuclear fuel might, but it’s definitely not safe for chronic exposure.

They do irradiate you. That is why recreational fluoroscopes were eliminated several decades ago, and for medical ones they consider the benefits versus the risks. They don’t pretend that there is no risk.

Fun story about x-rays. My father just retired as an X-ray technician and he worked in that field for 42 years. Later in his career he was on a call and decided to hold up an unused piece of film behind his head while each image was being captured of the patient. Even being in the opposite direction that the tube is pointing, on low radiation settings, he was able to clearly see his skull. Radiation just kind of scatters everywhere when a X-ray is taken.