X-Ray Facts

X-Ray Facts
An X-ray is a type of high energy electromagnetic radiation, also referred to as X-radiation. X-rays are useful for many purposes including identifying fractured or broken bones, disease, and even to allow security personnel to find hidden weapons on people as they pass through security check points. The scientist who discovered X-rays was Wilhelm Roentgen, in 1895. The first X-ray was one of his wife's hand, which included her wedding ring. The X-ray has been very helpful in medicine and is not only the oldest, but also the most common type of imaging used. Too much of the type of energy used for X-rays can be harmful to human health. When Wilhelm Roentgen named the imaging process X-ray, he had meant for the X to represent the unknown, because the technology fascinated him so much.
Interesting X-Ray Facts:
Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays by accident. He was experimenting with some vacuum tubes when he made the discovery.
Wilhelm Roentgen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention in 1901.
Wilhelm's wife was not impressed by her husband's invention. After seeing the image of her hand she said "I have seen my death."
The X-ray has led to many advances in medicine, and its inventor Wilhelm refused to take out a patent because he wanted everyone to benefit from its use.
X-ray refers to the method used to obtain the image and to the image itself.
X-ray is spelled many different ways including xray, X ray, X-ray, and x-ray.
Wilhelm Roentgen used a zinc box and lead box, when taking x-rays. He did this to protect photographic plates also stored in his lab from being destroyed. He was unaware that this protected him as well. Too much exposure to X-rays can cause cancer.
Scientists that were not yet aware of the dangers of exposure to X-rays often suffered burns, radiation sickness, loss of hair, and cancers.
Clarence Dally is the first person known to have died from exposure to X-rays. He worked on Thomas Edison's X-ray light bulb for many years and developed cancerous lesions. This resulted in the amputation of both hands, and his early death at only 39.
As x-rays pass through the body some of the waves are blocked and some pass through, allowing certain images to appear.
There are a variety of X-rays used today in addition to the ones used for identifying broken bones and fractures, including contrast x-rays, CT scans, fluoroscopy, dental x-rays, mammograms.
Ultrasound and MRI imaging techniques are not X-ray methods and do not expose the patient to the level of radiation of an X-ray.
Because X-rays can be dangerous to a developing fetus, pregnant women are not supposed to have X-rays. Exposure during pregnancy can lead to birth defects and childhood leukemia.
X-rays are known carcinogens. However they can be helpful in medical diagnosis and treatment.
It is estimated that approximately 0.4% of the cancers in the United States are due to CT scans.
At one time in the 1920s people tried to use X-rays to remove unwanted hair. It was eventually banned by the FDA because it resulted in serious health issues such as cancer.

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