Monday, April 28, 2014

Why I'm Afraid of X-Rays

Diagnostic X-rays (primarily from CT scans due to the large dose used) increase the risk of developmental problems and cancer in those exposed. X rays are classified as a carcinogen by both the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer and the U.S. government. It is estimated that 0.4% of current cancers in the United States are due to computed tomography (CT scans) performed in the past and that this may increase to as high as 1.5-2% with 2007 rates of CT usage.

Experimental and epidemiological data currently do not support the proposition that there is a threshold dose of radiation below which there is no increased risk of cancer. However, this is under increasing doubt. It is estimated that the additional radiation will increase a person's cumulative risk of getting cancer by age 75 by 0.6–1.8%.
-From Wikipedia

X-rays freak me out. The way the dentist puts that big heavy lead vest on you, shoves this big cannon thing next to your head, and then LEAVES THE FUCKING ROOM - it's like they're doing some kind of weird gamma bomb radiation experiment or something that I don't want any goddamn part of.  It's like they're worried one of us is going to walk out of the room like a giant green mutant monster or something.

When I was a kid I loved the TV show My Secret Identity with Jerry O'Connell and Derek McGrath. Apparently it was a Canadian produced show so I don't know how available it was in the US, but the premise was that this kid who loved comic books (O'Connell) accidentally gains super powers when shot by a his scientist neighbour's (McGrath) experimental ray-gun-thingie. He goes on to use his powers to help people and get out of everyday teenager problems, but of course he has to hide his abilities from his friends and family. I thought the show was totally badass, but in reality it was pretty dumb and cheesy. Anyway, my point is that in a later season episode the kid went to the dentist and was given x-rays, only to discover that the x-rays temporarily REMOVED his powers - they were like his kryptonite! That of course only further deepened my distrust for these mysterious, invisible other-dimensional beams of death and destruction.

So... yeah. "X" was a pretty lame one. But we're getting close to the end and I'm running out of steam.
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