Is the radiation from a chest x-ray harmful?

It is wise to be concerned about radiation exposure, but the amount of radiation in a chest x-ray is very small.

 Consider this: The unit of measure that is usually used to describe radiation exposure is the millisievert (mSv). In the United States, we are exposed to about 3 mSv every year, just from radiation naturally occurring in the atmosphere. By comparison, a chest x-ray delivers a radiation dose of about 0.1 mSv. That means that the radiation dose from a chest x-ray is the equivalent of about 10 days of exposure to ordinary background radiation.

Continue Learning about X-Ray Imaging

How much radiation am I exposed to with an x-ray?
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A chest x-ray exposes you to the equivalent of 10 days of background radiation.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.