5.3 Distance – X-rays

Two types of radiation are produced by X-ray equipment:  direct (or useful) beam radiation used to image or treat the patient, and scattered radiation, which is a non-useful by-product of X-ray machine use.  Always avoid contact with the direct X-ray beam and apply the principles of time, distance, and shielding to minimize exposure to scattered radiation.

Scattered radiation is greatest in the area directly adjacent to the X-ray tube and the X-ray table.  The exposure rate due to scattered radiation decreases rapidly with distance.  Personnel not directly involved in the X-ray procedure should stand at least 2 meters from the X-ray tube.