How safe are chest x-rays?: Some years... - Asthma UK communi...

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How safe are chest x-rays?


Some years ago a GP recommended I have a chest x-ray every 2 years as I used to work with dust containing a small percentage of asbestos but my new GP dismissed this and told me I'd be more at risk from the exposure to radiation.

6 Replies
EmmaF91Community Ambassador

X-rays in general carry some risk and chest ones slightly more because it’s radiating your organs. Generally docs do a risk/benefit with it and that’ll swing you into having 1 or not. Your new doc may have looked at your history and probably seen that you haven’t had any issues so probably don’t need the X-ray. If you get any issues I’m sure they’ll be happy to send you get one done!

Personally I’ve had lots of chest X-rays because the risk is minimal compared to possible pneumonia/lung collapse causing severe asthma attacks that they check for in a&e

Hope that makes sense and helps explain things a bit. If you’re really worried/concerned/getting symptoms go back and ask for one

EmmaF91Community Ambassador in reply to EmmaF91

Tho having said all this, I agree with Simon and need to also say that xrays are very safe if you need them 😉😅


Modern x-rays are very safe, the doses used in modern xrays are very low.

The CAT scans are the only ones that have any significant risk, one offs are ok but multiple cat scans should be avoided.

A chest xray is the equivalent to 10 days background radiation, so you DR is probably talking nonsense (with regard to risk)

pffft2017 in reply to Hidden

Thanks for the replies. Yeah the new GP is probably the type more concerned with saving the NHS money than patients' health.

EmmaF91Community Ambassador in reply to pffft2017

Yup that’s a situation which seems to be happening more and more in recent times 😔. It’s really creating a false economy with some, if not most, chronic conditions!

pffft2017 in reply to EmmaF91

The oath to 'Do No Harm' certainly went out the window years ago. Btw thanks very much for the link to the peak flow chart, very helpful much appreciated!

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