Reducing Radiation Doses to Children

July 2010

Dear Doctor:

This letter is a follow-up to a previous letter sent out to you by New York State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., regarding the use of multi-slice computed tomography (CT). While CT imaging is acknowledged as an essential tool for diagnosis, the overall radiation dose to the population, especially children, has grown dramatically with the introduction of multi-slice scanners. Although computed tomography scanners that are installed today are more dose efficient than their predecessors, the radiation burden that is being placed on our population has grown significantly in the past twenty years. Physicians can have a tremendously positive impact on the health of New Yorkers by using their CT equipment in a manner which minimizes the radiation dose to their patients, specifically, by establishing protocols that are dose efficient with a minimum number of slices and by trying to accept imaging protocols with reduced mA whenever possible.

The New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Environmental Radiation Protection (NYSDOH BERP) has partnered with the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging to promote the Image Gently Campaign. The goal of the Image Gently campaign is to change practice by increasing awareness of the opportunities to lower radiation dose in the imaging of children. Information on the Image Gently campaign can be found at This site provides valuable information for physicians and parents regarding CT scans and the doses of radiation that are involved.

To help raise awareness, we would like to provide you with the enclosed sample information sheets and dosimetry cards to record the amount of radiation that a child receives when undergoing an imaging CT exam. As part of this project we would like to ask you to distribute copies of this pamphlet and dosimetry cards to your patients and their parents.

If you would like to participate in this project, please fill out the enclosed information return card and mail it back to us. We greatly appreciate your time and hope to be working together with you in this effort. Together, we can reduce the amount of radiation that our children are recelving.

If you have any questions about this project, please feel free to contact Mr. Nikolas Webster at (518) 402-7556, or send an email to If you would like additional information, please visit our website


Howard A. Freed, M.D.
Center for Environmental Health