The 2009 National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, Report No. 160 — Ionizing Radiation Exposure of the Population of the United States — showed that medical exposure to patients is one of the largest sources of radiation exposure to Americans, nearly equaling the exposure from background sources. Nuclear medicine is the second largest source of medical radiation exposure after computed tomography.
The benefits of nuclear medicine procedures are immense and certainly exceed the risks. However, this is only true when they are ordered appropriately and studies are optimized to obtain the best image quality with the lowest radiation dose. Use the links on the Image Wisely website to find information and resources to optimize your nuclear medicine procedures. And be sure to take the pledge to image wisely!