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Radiation Safety

Radiation safety is a top priority when you receive imaging services at NYU Langone. 

Small amounts of radiation are used in medical imaging, such as CT scans, X-rays, and nuclear medicine studies, to produce detailed images of the human body. For example, a chest X-ray gives you about the same amount of radiation as you would get from taking four airplane flights from New York to Los Angeles.

While the small amount of radiation used in medical imaging is unlikely to cause harm, we use the lowest amount of radiation necessary to produce diagnostic images because of the potential risk. We continually strive to find the right balance between producing high-quality images and minimizing the potential harm to patients. 

Latest Technology to Reduce Radiation Doses

In our ongoing efforts to protect our patients, we invest in the latest technology that can deliver higher-quality images at lower radiation doses. We also continually monitor the radiation produced by our equipment, and submit these values to the American College of Radiology’s national database that tracks radiation doses from CT scanners across the country. 

We regularly compare our radiation doses against other institutions to ensure that we are exceeding the current radiation safety standards of the medical imaging community.

Our CT scanners are equipped with software that monitors the amount of radiation you are exposed to during your exam. If there is a risk that the radiation exposure may increase beyond our threshold for safety, our CT technologists can modify the exam to ensure that only a safe level of radiation is emitted.

During an X-ray, each study is focused on the area of the body that is of most interest to your doctor, to avoid any unnecessary radiation to other parts of your body. Our X-ray technologists also use radiation shields and aprons to protect areas that are sensitive to radiation and not necessary for the imaging tests, such as the breasts in women and reproductive organs in men and women.

We also use tracking and monitoring systems to ensure that our nuclear medicine imaging equipment is working properly and that the radiation is controlled within safe, standard limits.