Consumers have an important role in reducing radiation risks from medical x-rays. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends several best practices on their website, including:
- Ask your health care provider how an x-ray will help. Ask if there are other procedures that might be lower risk but still allow for good assessment or treatment.
- Tell the x-ray technologist in advance if you are, or might be, pregnant.
- Ask if a protective shield can be used. If you or your children are getting an x-ray, ask whether a lead apron or other shield should be used.
- Know your x-ray history. Keep a list of your imaging records, including dental x-rays. Show the card to your health care professionals to avoid unnecessary duplication of x-rays of the same body part. Keep a record card for everyone in your family.
For more information, see Reducing Radiation from Medical X-rays on FDA.gov