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MEDICAL PERSPECTIVE ON WAYS TO IMPROVE RADIATION PROTECTION STANDARDS

Mettler, Fred A. Jr*

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Radiation has been used in medical practice for over a century. While hazards were recognized very early, radiation protection in medicine evolved over many subsequent decades. Current issues and problems of radiation protection in medicine are mainly the result of rapidly changing technology and lack of education. With the widespread application of computed tomography and digital radiography, use of high dose radiological equipment by nonradiologists, and continuing accidental exposures in radiation therapy there are problems not envisioned before. Radiation protection in medicine is not likely to be improved significantly simply with the addition of more standards, but it will require a combined approach with the medical and educational communities.

* University of New Mexico, Department of Radiology, New Mexico Federal Regional Medical Center, 1501 San Pedro Blvd., Albuquerque, NM 87113.

For correspondence or reprints contact: the author at the above address, or email at fmettler@salud.unm.edu.

(Manuscript received 6 April 2004; accepted 17 May 2004)

©2004Health Physics Society