Radiation Detection Equipment for Pregnancy
How to Detect Radiation Exposure During Pregnancy
If you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, there are many areas of concern for being as healthy as you can and taking the best care of your baby. You don’t want to expose your baby to anything harmful, so it’s important to consider radiation exposure at this time.
How could different levels of radiation affect your baby, and what can you do to keep yourself and your baby safe? Here is information about radiation exposure during this time and how to detect radiation with Geiger counters and other radiation detection equipment to ensure safe levels.
Pregnancy Radiation Risks
Overall, the CDC considers most radiation exposure from medical scans to be safe during pregnancy. It says that this type of exposure does not tend to be serious enough to risk the health of your baby. It says that occupational radiation exposure is the same as long as the amounts are within regulations. Most sources of exposure are low enough not to create concern, plus the way the woman’s body protects the baby reduces the amount of exposure in the womb. In addition, the American Dental Association says you can have dental X-rays when you’re pregnant if you wear a leaded apron and thyroid collar.
Nonetheless, the CDC does explain that there are some scenarios you should be careful about as an expecting mother. While nonionizing radiation, such as microwaves and ultrasounds, is considered generally safe, even low levels of ionizing radiation, such as X-rays, can be harmful to the baby even if they’re not to the mother. This type of radiation can include problems such as malformation, growth retardation and cancer in the baby. Also, when the mother eats or breathes in a radioactive substance, the baby can be exposed to it.
Considerations That Affect Risk
The CDC notes that the dose of the radiation plays a large role on whether it will affect the baby. Also, Pamela M. Williams and Stacy Fletcher explain in American Family Physician that fetuses are most vulnerable from two to 15 weeks after conception. Nonetheless, they note that diagnostic radiography is generally considered safe during pregnancy and that one instance of diagnostic imaging radiation exposure hasn’t been shown to increase the risk of fetal problems.
Overall, you should let your doctor or dentist know that you’re pregnant and receive their recommendations based on the specific procedure. Williams and Fletcher note that safer procedures, such as ultrasonography, should be used to replace riskier diagnostic methods when possible.
If you’re pregnant, you can get a better idea of how much radiation you’re exposed to by using radiation detection equipment. This includes Geiger counters to obtain levels from your environment and food radiation detectors that can help you minimize levels in your diet.