DEXA scans & Radiation
Concerns about radiation are some of the most frequent questions we get from prospective clients looking to do a DEXA scan.
Radiation is all around us, and our bodies safely absorb small amounts of natural radiation (8 microsieverts per day) on a daily basis.
Scientists use the unit “sievert” to measure the health risks of radiation. One sievert of radiation causes immediate sickness.
One sievert is a very large dose of radiation, and most radiation doses are much, much smaller.
1 sievert (Sv) = 1000 millisieverts (mSv) = 1,000,000 microsieverts (uSv)
Getting a DEXA scan is very safe, even if you scan 3-4 times a year.
A comparative chart of radiation exposure levels from everyday (and not so everyday) sources.
|1- 4 uSv||MeasureUp body composition DEXA scan (depending on size of person)|
|8 uSv||Background radiation received by an average person over a normal day. This comes from cosmic rays, the Earth’s crust and soils, buildings, food, and medical scans|
|10uSv||A flight from Sydney to Brisbane|
|40 uSv||A flight from Sydney to LA|
|60 uSv||A chest x-ray|
(1,500 – 1,700 uSv)
|Average annual dose for flight attendants|
|A head CT scan|
(5,000 – 6,000 uSv)
|A chest CT scan|
|Measured in water leaking from Fukushima No. 2 reactor over one hour. Direct exposure at this level causes symptoms such as nausea and decreased white blood cell count, but not immediate death. However, exposure at this level is correlated with increased risk of future death from cancer|