Depending on the facility, a radiation protective apron (protector) is used to protect the gonad from radiation exposure in chest radiography. To determine the necessity of using a protector during chest radiography, we measured the effect of the protector on the gonad in this study. First, using a human body phantom, we measured the absorbed dose of the female gonad with and without the protector, using a thermoluminescence dosimeter (TLD), and confirmed its protective effect. Using the protector, the absorbed dose was reduced to 28+/-2% and 39+/-4% for field sizes of 14 x 17 inch and 14 x 14 inch, respectively. Next, we used Monte Carlo simulation and confirmed, not only the validity of the actual measurement values, but also the fact that the influence of radiation on the absorbed dose of the gonad was mostly from scattered radiation from inside the body for the 14 x 17 inch field size, and also from the X-ray tube for the 14 x 14 inch field size. Although a certain protective effect is achieved by using the protector, the radiation dose to the gonad is only a few microGy even without a protector. Thus, the risk of a genetic effect would be as small as 10(-8). Given that acceptable risk is below 10(-6), we conclude the use of a radiation protective apron is not necessary for diagnostic chest radiography.
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