Sometimes new technology can have unforeseeable backlashes. When x-ray technology was first invented, the use of radiation was a big mystery. We didn’t know a lot about it other than it is linked to nuclear weaponry. Now, we have managed to use x-ray technology every day in hospitals and other medical clinics, but we haven’t managed to make it completely healthy. Sure, getting one x-ray done isn’t going to hurt you, but the scary fact is that our exposure to radiation has grown roughly 600% over the last thirty-years with the majority of that coming in the form of medical imaging scans.
Most of the time when you go in for an x-ray, you don’t know the potential effects of being exposed to radiation – like cancer. For instance, women who get mammograms done are actually having their heart and breast tissue exposed to ionizing radiation and are harming their DNA. As customers, patients, and/or clients, we need to be more educated as to what we’re doing to our bodies when we visit a radiologist, or another medical professional. Radiologists get paid a whopping $300,000 a year on average; they should definitely know the potential effects of being exposed to radiation.
Another scary aspect of using radiation in the hospital environment is the excess of nuclear waste material. Hospitals, because they use medical imaging scans so often, are a major source of nuclear waste material. This material can be stolen and made into explosive devices! I bet you didn’t know that! This makes hospitals a prime target for terrorists who want to get their hands on material like that. In essence, hospitals could accidentally be arming terrorists with nuclear materials to make weapons and not even realize it!
Research has been shown to uncover the cause of the rising rates of leukemia and, surprisingly, the main cause of it was medical radiation – specifically x-rays. It doesn’t matter if you’re in an emergency or not, you should demand to know if getting an x-ray is completely mandatory to your health or not. If you’re taken by the EMTs, be sure to ask this question.
It’s a pretty well known fact that being overexposed to radiation can have long-lasting, potentially harmful effects on your body; however, maybe you didn’t know exactly how common it is to be affected by radiation – particularly in the form of x-rays. Having an x-ray taken of you seems like a very harmless thing; it doesn’t hurt, you don’t feel your insides burning up under the pressure of the radiation, etc., but x-rays can cause meningioma. Meningioma is a non-cancerous tumor that forms in the meninges, which is the area of membrane that surrounds your spinal cord. Some common symptoms of meningioma can come by way of pounding headaches, a sudden decrease in vision, and even speech impediments.
So who is at risk of developing menginioma? Well, for once, those who receive bite-wing exams are commonly the most at-risk people. Orthodontists, who make $190,000 a year on average, will use bite-wing exams to take a look at your teeth and their structure, but those who have had a bite-wing exam are about twice as likely to develop menginioma. Furthermore, the panorex exam is another one to watch out for; panorex exams are when the orthodontist or dental assistant uses an external device to take the x-ray. Those who have panorex exams are three times as likely to develop a non-cancerous tumor.
But adults aren’t the only ones who are at risk of developing meningioma, in fact, children are even more susceptible because of how sensitive their cells are to radiation. Kids who are under 10 years of age should definitely take caution when getting x-rays done, especially if its multiple times a year. However, it should be noted that this subject is still being researched and should therefore regarded as an early observation.
So what can you do? Well, first of all, you should definitely make sure that the x-ray you’re getting is completely mandatory. Ask your x-ray technician if the x-ray is crucial to your appointment and/or your potential condition. X-ray technicians make about $60,000 a year on average, so if you cancel your appointment, I don’t think they will mind all too much.