Should you worry about radiation from Industrial CT Scanning equipment?
In my capacity as Manager of the CT scanning department at Wenzel America I’m around active CT scanners all the time and suppose I’ve become oblivious to the concerns many people have about being around X-Rays. Peoples’ concerns are understandable given that the only times they see X-Ray equipment are likely to be at the Doctor’s or Dentist’s office where the patients wear lead aprons, the technicians leave the room when the X-rays are switched on and everyone treats the equipment with great reverence.
There are a number of reasons why my confidence that Wenzel’s exaCT Industrial CT machines are not causing me any harm and I will share them with you.
First of all, the very purpose of a medical X-ray or CT machine is to irradiate people in some way for medical purposes, that is not the case with an Industrial CT system. Secondly, when our demo machines are first installed we register them with the State of Michigan and they are inspected for safety. When tested by the State officials they have been found not to be emitting any more radiation when in operation than the legally permissible safe level.
Thirdly; A further stipulation by the State is that all operators must wear “Dosimeter” badges that monitor exposure over time and checked every 3 months. This is a vital thing for technicians in a Doctor’s office since some exposure to radiation is inevitable and they have to make sure it’s not too much. In the 6 years I’ve been wearing a dosimeter badge, mine has never registered over the minimum value.
So I’m totally confident there is no health risk to being around our machines but we will be taking our demo machines on the road to trade shows this year so that potential customers can see how compact and easy to use they are and anyone coming into contact with the machines needs to feel equally reassured. In order to be able to do this we need to meet the regulatory requirements in the different States in which we will be exhibiting. Fortunately for us, there is a company headquartered locally, Radiological Physics Service Inc. of Plymouth Michigan that operates nationally and is licensed in most US States to conduct radiological testing on the States’ behalf.
We were visited recently by Mr. Ray Carlson MS, the President of Radiological Physics Service, who has over 40 years experience in this field, to conduct leakage testing on all our demo machines. This test involves the machines being turned up to their full power and focused on a target that creates the greatest amount of radiation scatter (a full bottle of water). Mr. Carlson used an Ionization Chamber that is the most sensitive radiation meter to check all around each machine for leaks. His conclusion was that there was no leakage of radiation at all that was detectable over the normal background radiation in the building.
If you are interested in viewing our machines, we will be taking them to the AMUG, RAPID+TCT and IMTS conferences this year, come take a close look.
We look forward to meeting you. It’s safe; Nothing to worry about.