Narrator: This is Science Today. A radiation
expert is calling for the reduction of radiation doses
in standard, medical x-rays. Dr. John Gofman of the
University of California, Berkeley, recently released
a study suggesting that the overuse of medical x-rays
are responsible for a large proportion of cancer and
heart disease deaths. One solution, he says, is to
consistently lower dosage.
Gofman: The dose of medical x-rays for a given
procedure - let's say a GI series - in one place gives
you ten units of dose, in another place, it gives
you one unit of dose. That's an outrage! There should
never be a place giving you any more dose than the
dose needed to give a good diagnosis.
Narrator: Gofman hopes public outcry will bring
about the major changes made in mammography during
the late Seventies. Doses were up to thirty times
higher then - until there was mass criticism.
Gofman: That killed mammography temporarily,
but the people interested in mammography went to work
on it and today, the dose is down about twenty times
on the average.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.