Ionizing Radiation Machines (X-ray)
Medical radiation machines make up the largest man-made source of exposure to the public. In 1958, the state Board of Health began a program to inspect radiation machines. Today over 18,000 facilities, including hospitals, doctors' offices, universities, and corporations, have registered more than 50,000 x-ray machines with the department.
The radiation machine program works to reduce exposure to workers and the public from machines that emit radiation for medical, scientific, educational, and industrial purposes. The program accomplishes this by:
One way these goals are achieved is through on-site inspections. The department regularly inspects each radiation machine according to a schedule that varies depending upon how the machine is used. This schedule ranges from annually for mammography and cancer therapy machines to every 5 years for dental and podiatry machines. Department staff performed over 13,000 inspections last year. During these inspections they:
If a machine poses an immediate threat to the public health, the department requests its immediate removal from service. For less serious problems, the department gives machine owners 90 days to correct the deficiencies.