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December 31, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Outpatient clinics that perform diagnostic procedures using radioactive materials could do a better job of telling patients that they may set off radiation detectors at security checkpoints, a study shows. Information and documentation that these facilities provide to patients "varies widely" in terms of quality, said Armin Ansari, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who was involved in the study. "Some are extremely well done, some are not."
After hearing emotional appeals to right "one of the great wrongs that we Americans committed against our own citizens," the House gave final congressional approval Thursday to legislation that compensates radiation victims of nuclear weapons testing and uranium mining.
August 4, 2010
If people weren't afraid of CT scans before now, it might just be a matter of time until they are. Or perhaps until lawmakers take matters into their own hands. L.A. Times staff writer Alan Zarembo wrote Tuesday of local hospitals that said they were simply following the manufacturer's recommendations: " Two More Hospitals Report CT Scan Radiation Overdoses ." Judith Graham wrote recently in the Chicago Tribune about attempts to protect children from excess radiation: " Clamping Down on CT Scans for Kids ."
February 17, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Radiation from the largest solar flare in four years is expected to reach the Earth Thursday and Friday, potentially interfering with communication and navigation satellites and disrupting ground-based communication networks and power grids. The rain of charged particles from the so-called coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, should also enhance the northern lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, making them both more prominent and visible farther south, perhaps even into the northern tier of the United States, experts said.
March 17, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
With reports that a radiation plume from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could reach Southern California as soon as Friday, worried citizens have been hoarding potassium iodide pills, wondering if it's OK to go outside and otherwise fretting over an invisible, and somewhat unpredictable, threat. But all that worrying might cause more harm than the radiation itself, experts say. Here are some answers to common concerns. How much radiation do scientists think will arrive here?
March 18, 2011 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
A minuscule amount of radiation from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor in Japan was detected in Sacramento but at such a low level that it posed no threat to human health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday afternoon. One station in Sacramento detected "minuscule quantities" of a radioactive isotope, xenon-133, that scientists said they believed came from the reactors at the stricken Fukushima plant. Photos: In Japan, life amid crisis But the level detected would result in a "dose rate approximately one-millionth of the dose rate that a person normally receives from rocks, bricks, the sun and other natural sources," according to an EPA statement.
August 3, 2010 | By Alan Zarembo, Los Angeles Times
Two California hospitals where patients were exposed to excessive levels of radiation during CT scans had programmed their scanners according to the manufacturer's specifications, officials at both hospitals said. Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and Bakersfield Memorial Hospital are the latest additions to a list of California hospitals where overdoses occurred during CT brain perfusion scans. In both cases, the scanner in question was made by Toshiba. "We called Toshiba to give us the protocol," said Dr. Stephanie Hall, the chief medical officer at County-USC, where two patients received overdoses shortly after the hospital began doing the scans last fall.
March 15, 2011
Everyone is exposed to some radiation. It's the level of exposure that determines whether there's any harmful effect. But how much radiation is a lot? Here are a few numbers for comparison. (A microsievert is a unit that measures the biological effects of radiation.) Limit on whole-body exposure for a radiation worker for one year: 50,000 microsieverts One year's worth of exposure to natural radiation from soil, cosmic rays and other sources: 3,000 microsieverts One chest X-ray: 100 microsieverts One dental X-ray: 40-150 microsieverts One mammogram: 700 microsieverts CT scan (abdomen)
March 18, 2011 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writer
Radiation levels in California remain normal, air quality officials said Friday morning. "As far as our monitors go, we have not detected any increases beyond what you'd expect historically. Nothing you can attribute to Japan," said Philip Fine, atmospheric measurements manager of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the smog control agency for Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Fine said he has been spot-checking radiation monitor data throughout California and the West Coast in the past few days, and nothing abnormal has shown up. Other experts have said they do expect small amounts of radioactive isotopes from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi power plant to blow over to California as soon as Friday, but that they expected that the radiation would be well within safe limits.
November 10, 2009 | Nicole Santa Cruz
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center officials said Monday that 260 patients had been exposed to high doses of radiation during CT brain scans during an 18-month period, up from the hospital's original estimate of 206 in September. A review by the hospital also found that about 20% of the patients received exposure directly to the lenses of their eyes, which puts them at a higher risk for cataracts, said Simi Singer, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles hospital. Of the newly identified cases, 47 patients had died by the time the hospital began contacting victims -- a reflection, officials said, of their serious illnesses, not the radiation exposure.
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