keep-calm-and-alara - CXR xray NDT machines allowable radiation limits

Are X-ray Systems Within Allowable Radiation Limits ?

Ensuring your personnel and product(s) are well within allowable radiation limits is critical for the safe implementation of non destruction testing with x-ray machines.

The first thing you need to know is where the “allowable radiation limits” rest.

Allowable Radiation Limits when using x-ray for NDT inspectionWhile the outer guidelines are fairly clear, there are over 3.1 millions website pages when concerns, regulations, and statistic surrounding the “allowable radiation limits”.


A brief history of  determining “Allowable Radiation Limits”

Concerns related to the potential biological effect that could result from ionizing radiation began shortly after the discovery of X-rays in 1895.

Throughout the centuries, various recommendations regarding the “occupational exposure limits” to radiation have been established by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and various other groups seeking to protect people, animals, and products from radiation.

In general, the guidelines these organizations have come to agree upon for radiation exposure have had two basic principle objectives:

  • 1) to prevent acute exposure; and
  • 2) to limit chronic exposure to “acceptable” levels.

According to the Non-Destructive Testing Resource Center;

Current guidelines are based on the conservative assumption that there is no safe level of exposure. In other words, even the smallest exposure has some probability of causing a stochastic effect, such as cancer.


ALARA - Allowable Radiation Limits when using x-ray for NDT inspectionBecause, these are assumption and not 100% known facts the general consensus has been to not only keep radiation exposures below recommended levels or regulation limits, but to maintain all exposure “as low as reasonable achievable” (ALARA).

Even, the US government supports the ALARA approach.

As recently as July 23, 2015, The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines the acronym “ALARA” as:

making every reasonable effort to maintain exposures to ionizing radiation as far below the dose limits as practical, consistent with the purpose for which the licensed activity is undertaken, taking into account the state of technology, the economics of improvements in relation to state of technology, the economics of improvements in relation to benefits to the public health and safety, and other societal and socioeconomic considerations, and in relation to utilization of nuclear energy and licensed materials in the public interest.

How does CXR Company determine that any radiation emissions from the x-ray inspection systems are within allowable limits?

CXR Company closely monitors for radiation to be certain we are staying well within safe allowable radiation limits.

Ludlum Radiation Measurement SafetyOur x-ray inspection machines are tested for radiation emissions using a certified Ludlum radiation meter every time they are set up, whether at our plant or a customer’s plant.

In addition, our policies are closely tied to those of Universities with engineering, medical and scientific field students to ensure we are up-to-date on the latest research.

For example, the University of Iowa’s Environmental Health and Safety Department lists the “Maximum Permissible Dose Limits for adult (18+ years old).

University of Iowa - Maximum Permissible Dose Limits


How CXR x-ray inspection equipment of NDT compares you wonder …

Our x-ray machines emit no greater than the .5 MR/ hour limit.

You can also see our NDT inspection equipment outputs and conforms within the listed OSHA regulations for a fertile women with respect to fetus, the lowest listed levels of all exposure allowable:

OSHA allowable Radiation Limits

If you have any questions related to CXR x-ray machines and the allowable radiation limits discussed within this article, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

One Comment

  1. Compliance with occupational radiation exposure limits
    October 15, 2015 @ 5:17 pm

    […] addition to ALARA protocol, which we discussed here, the United Stated Department of Energy (DOE) recommends the review of 9 applicable requirements, […]


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