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Thread: X-rays

  1. #1 X-rays 
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    Are X-rays harmful to male gamets? I've only had two X-rays, but is it something to be concerned about?


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    the only x-rays i've had done are dental, and for those they give you a lead apron to protect the rest of your body... I would have to suppose that without protection there's a small chance of harmful mutations or something, but I don't think just two x-rays is much to be concerned about... for people who are exposed to many x-rays over the course of their life, I think the chance of complications is much greater. Someone correct me if I'm wrong...


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  4. #3  
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    These X-rays were done when i was around 3 and 11 years old.
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    You should be okay unless maybe your x-ray exposure was one of those shoe store fluoroscopes they had back in the fifties. In that case you would probably be old enough not to be worrying about your gametes. The link below has a good discussion of the risk of exposure putting it in perspective of naturally occurring exposure to ionizing radiation.

    NRC fact sheet biological effects
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  6. #5  
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    You have nothing to worry about! If you fly in an airplane, you are apparently exposed to the equivalent of many chest x-rays by being exposed to radiation at high altitude! And you never hear of the health risks of that! Healthcare is just much more cautious thats all.
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  7. #6 Re: X-rays 
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    Quote Originally Posted by saber
    Are X-rays harmful to male gamets? I've only had two X-rays, but is it something to be concerned about?
    Yes they are harmful
    No : two X rays are not harmful
    During a year you will recieve much more radiation from your environnement.
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  8. #7 yeah it can be harmful 
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    it will be very harmful if you get exposed to x-rays more and more.
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    You have nothing to worry about! If you fly in an airplane, you are apparently exposed to the equivalent of many chest x-rays by being exposed to radiation at high altitude!
    Radiation yes, much higher than at sea level, yes. But the equivalent of "many x-rays"? Where did you read that nonsense? Radiation isn't all the same. Energy is a function of frequency and intensity, and the reaction of our cells also depends on those parameters.

    And you never hear of the health risks of that!
    Yes, you do. It's always been a concern for airplane crews. However, the radiation the average airline pilot is exposed to increases the life-time risk of cancer by only 1%, according to the Health Physics Society. Let's see how you're doing after what you call an "equivalent" high number of exposures to high-intensity x-rays.

    Healthcare is just much more cautious thats all.
    Well, it better be. That's the reason why you're still alive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    Radiation isn't all the same. Energy is a function of frequency and intensity, and the reaction of our cells also depends on those parameters....

    Let's see how you'redoing after what you call an "equivalent" high number of exposures to high-intensity x-rays.
    The standard measurement of radiation dose is the roentgen. "It is the amount of radiation required to liberate positive and negative charges of one electrostatic unit of charge in 1 cm³ of air at standard temperature and pressure (STP). This corresponds to the generation of approximately 2.08×109 ion pairs." So a roentgen of x-rays will cause the same damage by ionization as a roentgen of cosmic rays. On what basis to you think they are different?
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  11. #10  
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    So a roentgen of x-rays will cause the same damage by ionization as a roentgen of cosmic rays. On what basis to you think they are different?
    When did I say a roentgen of A is different from a roentgen of B? The question is how much (i.e. what intensity) you receive in each situation. The fact that each candela from my candle is the same light intensity as 1 candela from the flood light of a stadium, doesn't mean my candle is as strong as a stadium light.

    The more appropriate unit is actually rem (roentgen equivalent man) to take biological harm into account. Look up some order-of magnitude data for x-rays versus flight travel:

    one chest tomography (that's one single procedure!): 800 mrem
    one 18 hour flight from Chicago to Honolulu: 9 mrem

    See any difference? It takes about 90 flights between Chicago and Honolulu for a pilot to be as harmed by cosmic radiation as he would be taking just one chest tomography. Of course, actually doses depend on type of procedure and length of flight, but I suspect that reality doesn't exactly support the claim that "You have nothing to worry about! If you fly in an airplane, you are apparently exposed to the equivalent of many chest x-rays".
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    So a roentgen of x-rays will cause the same damage by ionization as a roentgen of cosmic rays. On what basis to you think they are different?
    When did I say a roentgen of A is different from a roentgen of B? The question is how much (i.e. what intensity) you receive in each situation. The fact that each candela from my candle is the same light intensity as 1 candela from the flood light of a stadium, doesn't mean my candle is as strong as a stadium light.

    The more appropriate unit is actually rem (roentgen equivalent man) to take biological harm into account. Look up some order-of magnitude data for x-rays versus flight travel:

    one chest tomography (that's one single procedure!): 800 mrem
    one 18 hour flight from Chicago to Honolulu: 9 mrem

    See any difference? It takes about 90 flights between Chicago and Honolulu for a pilot to be as harmed by cosmic radiation as he would be taking just one chest tomography. Of course, actually doses depend on type of procedure and length of flight, but I suspect that reality doesn't exactly support the claim that "You have nothing to worry about! If you fly in an airplane, you are apparently exposed to the equivalent of many chest x-rays".
    Luckily for the pilot and the plane staff !
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    M wrote
    The fact that each candela from my candle is the same light intensity as 1 candela from the flood light of a stadium, doesn't mean my candle is as strong as a stadium light.
    But nobody measures radiation in candelas.
    M wrote
    one chest tomography (that's one single procedure!): 800 mrem
    I guess it matters what kind of x-ray you are talking about and how often you fly. According to the NRC web site a chest x-ray is 5.5 mr. That would be pretty trivial compared to the dose you would get from flying on a regular basis.
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    But nobody measures radiation in candelas.
    Very funny, Harold14370.

    a) It was an analogy.

    b) Light is radiation within the visible frequency spectrum.

    c) Light (luminous) intensity is measured in candela.
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    But nobody measures radiation in candelas.
    Very funny, Harold14370.

    a) It was an analogy.

    b) Light is radiation within the visible frequency spectrum.

    c) Light (luminous) intensity is measured in candela.
    I was attempting to point out that Robbie was probably using Rems to compare x-rays to flying, so it wasn't a matter of comparing apples to oranges.

    Actually, I was surprised at how high the dose is for CAT scans. I work at a nuclear plant and we never get anything close to that in occupational dose. I got a CAT scan for a kidney stone and they never even told me I was getting an x-ray, let alone I was going to pick up about 1 Rem. If I got 1 Rem at work, it would be a MAJOR incident. I think our whole site got about 5 Rem in a year.

    Also in response to the original question, there is no documented cases of genetic effects from radiation. It could happen, but it's only theoretical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370

    Also in response to the original question, there is no documented cases of genetic effects from radiation. It could happen, but it's only theoretical.
    No documented effects ?
    Just have a look around Tchernobyl, to check if there isn't any geneticals effects ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerdoc
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370

    Also in response to the original question, there is no documented cases of genetic effects from radiation. It could happen, but it's only theoretical.
    No documented effects ?
    Just have a look around Tchernobyl, to check if there isn't any geneticals effects ...
    I understand there is some controversy about this but the official UN report in 2001 concluded "The search for genetic effects associated with Chernobyl exposures in Belarus or Ukraine, which had the highest contamination, and in a number of European countries provide no unambiguous evidence for an increase in the frequencies of one or more of the following: Down's syndrome, congenital anomalies, miscarriages, perinatal mortality, etc."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Powerdoc
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370

    Also in response to the original question, there is no documented cases of genetic effects from radiation. It could happen, but it's only theoretical.
    No documented effects ?
    Just have a look around Tchernobyl, to check if there isn't any geneticals effects ...
    I understand there is some controversy about this but the official UN report in 2001 concluded "The search for genetic effects associated with Chernobyl exposures in Belarus or Ukraine, which had the highest contamination, and in a number of European countries provide no unambiguous evidence for an increase in the frequencies of one or more of the following: Down's syndrome, congenital anomalies, miscarriages, perinatal mortality, etc."
    Controversy is the word :

    Here is some studies related in an official governement organisation (belgium) :
    http://www.fanc.fgov.be/fr/seminaire..._summaries.htm

    PS : I have nothing against nuclear plants, but I fear that it's difficult to have reliable info coming from this part of the world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerdoc
    I have nothing against nuclear plants, but I fear that it's difficult to have reliable info coming from this part of the world.
    The report I quoted was from the UN, so I wonder which part of the world you are referring to?

    I looked at the Belgian report and did not see any huge discrepancy with the UN report. The UN report mentioned a study seeming to show a genetic effect to children of people exposed in the Chernobyl area, but they somewhat discounted it because the control group was in the UK. This might be the same data used in the Dubrova report that is referred to in the web site you linked to. The Dubrova report did say their control group was from the UK. Do you have a different interpretation? I am not an expert in this field.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Powerdoc
    I have nothing against nuclear plants, but I fear that it's difficult to have reliable info coming from this part of the world.
    The report I quoted was from the UN, so I wonder which part of the world you are referring to?

    I looked at the Belgian report and did not see any huge discrepancy with the UN report. The UN report mentioned a study seeming to show a genetic effect to children of people exposed in the Chernobyl area, but they somewhat discounted it because the control group was in the UK. This might be the same data used in the Dubrova report that is referred to in the web site you linked to. The Dubrova report did say their control group was from the UK. Do you have a different interpretation? I am not an expert in this field.
    I was referring to russia and to dubrova article, and yes it seems unclear.
    What is clear is that irradiaition is bad for pregnancy and lead to congenital disorders :
    Based on the results of experimental studies in mice and other laboratory animals, it
    has generally been admitted that irradiation during the preimplantation period (from
    fertilization up to implantation of the embryo into the maternal uterus) may essentially
    result in the death of the embryo. Irradiation during the period of organogenesis which
    follows may characteristically result in the production of a variety of congenital
    anomalies, if the delivered dose is sufficient. Irradiation during the foetal period (from
    the end of organogenesis up to birth) can induce anomalies in the development of the
    tissues and general or localized growth retardation, which frequently persists during
    all the extra-uterine life. Contrary to what is observed in experimental animals,
    radiation-induced congenital anomalies have been rarely seen in humans. However,
    the exposure of the human conceptus during the foetal period may lead to a
    diminution of the QI, associated or not with microcephaly. Such effects have been
    predominantly observed in survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and
    Nagasaki who had been exposed in utero between the weeks 8 and 15 of pregnancy.
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    Effects on a fetus exposed to radiation would be somatic, not genetic, at least to my way of thinking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Effects on a fetus exposed to radiation would be somatic, not genetic, at least to my way of thinking.
    You are absolutely right

    My confusion came from a TV report about Tchernobyl, where they showed tons of examples of congenital malformations related to the radiation exposition.

    I have this report in memory, demonstrating the link between Tchernobyl and this disaster and forget that there was a difference between genetic disorders and congenital malformations related to radiation exposition during pregnancy.

    That's said, and to reply to the original poster, there isn't any harmfull effects to fear from his X ray.

    X RAY are bad for pregnant women and doctors will try to avoid as much foetus exposition, but I never see any particular precaution for an X ray of the abdomen of a man (or a woman if she is not pregnant)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerdoc
    You are absolutely right
    Thank you.
    X RAY are bad for pregnant women and doctors will try to avoid as much foetus exposition, but I never see any particular precaution for an X ray of the abdomen of a man (or a woman if she is not pregnant)
    I don't strongly disagree with this but i will just point out that there is a huge difference between the way this is handled for radiation worker occupational exposure and medical exposure, at least here in the US. For occupational exposure the assumption is made that any amount of exposure causes some increase in the incidence of cancer. There is just not enough data for chronic low doses of exposure to say if there is a threshold effect or if it is just linear. So the NRC has the ALARA rule (as low as reasonably achievable) and we take great pains, and spend lots of money to avoid any dose that can be avoided. In the medical field there just doesn't seem to be any rule like ALARA except it probably applies to the technicians who leave the room when the x-ray machine is on.
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    Two X-rays, provided they are the ordinary X-rays used for medical diagnostic purposes should pose no significant additional risk.

    Even a high radiation procedure like Abdominal CT scan has only around 1 in 2000 additional life time risk of cancer. This needs to be considered in the context of 1 in 3 risk we all have any way.

    Also, the male gametes have a short life span unlike female gametes. From your description there does not seem to be anything to be concerned about.
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