Medical radiation exposure in the U.S. in 2006: Preliminary results

Fred A. Mettler, Bruce R. Thomadsen, Mythreyi Bhargavan, Debbie B. Gilley, Joel E. Gray, Jill A. Lipoti, John McCrohan, Terry T. Yoshizumi, Mahadevappa Mahesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

394 Scopus citations


Medical radiation exposure of the U.S. population has not been systematically evaluated for almost 25 y. In 1982, the per capita dose was estimated to be 0.54 mSv and the collective dose 124,000 person-Sv. The preliminary estimates of the NCRP Scientific Committee 6-2 medical subgroup are that, in 2006, the per capita dose from medical exposure (not including dental or radiotherapy) had increased almost 600% to about 3.0 mSv and the collective dose had increased over 700% to about 900,000 person-Sv. The largest contributions and increases have come primarily from CT scanning and nuclear medicine. The 62 million CT procedures accounted for 15% of the total number procedures (excluding dental) and over half of the collective dose. Nuclear medicine accounted for about 4% of all procedures but 26% of the total collective dose. Medical radiation exposure is now approximately equal to natural background radiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-507
Number of pages6
JournalHealth physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008


  • Dose, population
  • Effective dose
  • Medical radiation
  • National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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