X-rays and their ability to penetrate human tissue to create a visual image, were discovered by Wihelmin Röntgen in 1895.
Within months medical diagnostic imaging had been revolutionised. These early images required high doses of radiation and very soon local side-effects such as skin reddening, hair loss and ulceration became apparent.
Within only a few years it was realised that these diagnpstically useful "magic rays" could also cause cancer and genetic harm.
In 1921 the fisrt formal recommendations on radiation protection in the UK were by British X-ray and Radium Protection Committee. In 1928 The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) was established.
The IRCP is still in existence and regularly publishes reports and recommendations on radiation protection which are accepted as the basis for national legislation by almost every country in the world to try to limit the damaging effects of ionising radiation. As result, the use of ionising radiation in clinical practice is governed by law-criminal law- in the UK.
Ionising radiations, including X-rays, are dangerous and have the protential to cause damage to human tissue, includinng fatal malignant change. Radiographic examinations put patients at risk. Children are at the greatest risk.
°British Orthodontic Society BOS
°Guidelines for the use of Radiographs in Clinical Orthodontics