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Originally published January 5 2011

Study: Children exposed to far too much radiation from imaging scans

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The amount of radiation-emitting imaging scans administered to children is on the rise, and many experts are worried about the long-term negative effects of this toxic exposure. A new study published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine has found that the average child will receive seven radiation scans by the time he or she is 18 years old. And besides X-rays, many children now receive CT scans, which emit up to 400 times the amount of radiation as chest X-rays.

"Today's children are undoubtedly getting many more of these [scans] than previous generations," explained Dr. Adam Dorfan, lead author of the study from the University of Michigan Medical School. "That's particularly concerning."

Researchers compiled health insurance data from over 355,000 children living Arizona, Texas, Florida and Wisconsin, to arrive at their findings. They found that eight percent of evaluated children received at least one CT scan in a three-year period, and three percent received two or more in the same period. Researchers also determined that roughly six million U.S. children will receive at least one CT scan within a three-year period.

A New York Times report from March sheds a bit of light onto why imaging scans have been on the increase, particularly heavy-radiation CT scans. According to the report, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials have been quick to approve CT scans for all sorts of uses, despite warnings from its own scientists that the scans often needlessly expose patients to very high levels of cancer-causing radiation (

The same report indicates that since 1980, the rate of CT scans has increased by over 2300 percent. And roughly 14,000 people die every year as a result of imaging scan radiation exposure.

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