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Radiation Protection

How can I minimize x-ray radiation exposure?

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

Return to Frequent Questions about Radiation Protection.