Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 65° Partly Cloudy
News >  Nation/World

New X-ray film may cut radiation exposure in half

Associated Press

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Eastman Kodak Co. is rolling out a higher- speed X-ray film that can halve a patient’s exposure to radiation.

The higher speed could mean less blurring and fewer retakes for people who get the shakes around the doctors.

It is the first X-ray film in 20 years to offer a 50 percent or better drop in radiation dosage, the company said.

Tested this winter at children’s hospitals in Kentucky and South Carolina, the 800-speed, general-purpose medical film is being shipped this month to hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices around the United States and Canada.

Phillip Bunch, a medical physicist at Kodak, said the film he invented with chemist Robert Dickerson might be especially beneficial for hospital technicians and long-term patients, particularly younger ones, in need of frequent X-rays.

Radiation dosages from X-rays have plummeted in the 110 years since German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen discovered the rays.

The risk of developing cancer from a chest X-ray has been calculated at around 1 in 350,000, and would drop to 1 in 700,000 with this new film, said Dr. G. Donald Frey, professor of radiology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

But Frey said some contend there is no evidence that radiation is risky at the current low levels. That could affect how many hospitals switch to higher-speed film.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.