Skip to content

Levels of radiation from imaging


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Typical Effective Dose (mSv)Number of chest X-rays (PA film) for Equivalent Effective DoseTime Period for Equivalent Effective Dose from Natural Background Radiation
Abdo CT84002.7 years
Chest CT52501.7 years
Head CT2100243 days
Barium enema84002.7 years
Upper GI63002 years
IVU31501 year
Lumbar spine1.575182 days
Skull x-ray0.1512 days
Chest x-ray (PA film)0.0212.4 days
Airline flight0.0212.4 days
  1. Average effective dose in millisieverts (mSv) as compiled by Fred A. Mettler, Jr., et al., “Effective Doses in Radiology and Diagnostic Nuclear Medicine:  A Catalog,” Radiology Vol. 248, No. 1, pp. 254-263, July 2008.
  2. Based on the assumption of an average “effective dose” from chest x ray (PA film) of 0.02 mSv.
  3. Based on the assumption of an average “effective dose” from natural background radiation of 3 mSv per year.


Radiation Emitting Products, US Food and Drug Administration, accessed online

X-ray Risk, accessed online

About the authors


High flow therapy – when and how?

Chest compressions in traumatic cardiac arrest

Searching for sepsis

The missing link? Children and transmission of SARS-CoV-2

Don’t Forget the Brain Busters – Round 2

An evidence summary of Paediatric COVID-19 literature


The fidget spinner craze – the good, the bad and the ugly

Parenteral Nutrition



We use cookies to give you the best online experience and enable us to deliver the DFTB content you want to see. For more information, read our full privacy policy here.