SEOUL, Dec.21 (Korea Bizwire) – Research indicates that comprehensive health check-ups including computer tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans could expose the human body to dangerous levels of radiation.
According to the research team of professor Kim Mu-young at the Seoul Medical Center, the ‘basic check-up’ procedures expose the human body to an average of 2.49mSv radiation.
This exceeds the annual artificial radiation exposure dose (1mSv) set by the Nuclear Safety Act.
The team researched the radiation exposure for each check-up item on the homepages of each medical facility. Torso x-rays exposed the body to 0.02mSv of radiation, a mammography exposed the body to 0.27mSv, torso CT scan exposed the body to 8mSv and a full body PET scan exposed the body to 7.03mSv of radiation.
When additional procedures such as CT scans were selected, the total amount of radiation exposure was elevated to an average of 14.82mSv.
The total radiation exposure exceeded 30mSv at 31 facilities (10.5 percent), and the facility that exposed patients to the most radiation reached 40.1mSv.
Normally, people are naturally exposed to 2.4mSv of radiation a year. The average radiation exposure among Koreans is 3.6mSv.
As such, it can be concluded that with one check-up, the human body could be exposed to the equivalent of 11 years of natural radiation exposure.
Exposure to more than 100mSv of radiation is known to escalate one’s chances of getting cancer. However, the academic world has not reach consensus on the effects of radiation exposure under 100mSv.
The research team claims that the amount of radiation people are exposed to when getting check-ups is dangerous considering that the occupational radiation dose of workers is 50mSv.
The procedure that exposed the body to the most radiation was the CT scan. Among the total amount of exposure, CT scans were responsible for 76 percent, ranking first. Mammographies and other x-ray imaging procedures ranked second (16 percent), followed by PET scans (9 percent) and x-rays (3 percent).
The research team pointed out that check-ups have to consider radiation exposure. “The effects of CT scans are not quite proven other than for severe lung cancer patients, and the effects of PET scans are also not clear. Not only do the additional procedures put patients at risk of excessive radiation exposure, they are also expensive.”
By M.H.Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)