Exposure to ionizing radiation is a well documented cause of cancer in humans. Every day we are exposed to background levels of radiation – but the number one reason for dramatically increased exposure above the norm is medical imaging. Diagnostic tests like X-rays, CAT scans, fluoroscopic studies like angiography and nuclear medicine procedures are commonplace in modern hospitals, and greatly increase our personal “dose” of radiation. This is not to suggest that the risk from these procedures outweighs their benefit – many of these tests can be lifesaving. It is however, always smart to be aware of the risks.
Radiation Passport allows you to keep track of your cumulative radiation exposure and view your risk of developing cancer as a result of that exposure. The various levels of radiation for different imaging procedures are listed in the international standard measurement – millisieverts (mSv). It is interesting to learn how large the differences in dose is between procedures – for example, a CT scan of the chest delivers a hefty 7 mSv of radiation, while a chest X-ray delivers only 0.05 mSv.
With Radiation Passport you can log all of your radiology exams by procedure type (there are 140 in all), date and dosage and provide you with an estimation of relative cancer risk. The risk of other common causes of morbidity and mortality (heart disease, MVA etc) are also listed for comparison. You can also estimate your own background radiation exposure, taking into account lifestyle and location. There is also a useful section on the scientific basics of radiation, with definitions and an explanation of the link between radiation exposure and cancer.
Bottom Line: A useful and educational application for everyone to keep track of their personal radiation exposure.