Fetal Exposure to Ionizing Radiation

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    Quickly dividing cells are the most radiosensitive. This means that a fetus is more sensitive to the effects of radiation than an adult. The Federal government and Washington state limit the exposure to the fetus of radiation workers who formally declare their pregnancy to 500 mrem for the entire gestation period. This is 10% of the limit an adult radiation worker is allowed to receive annually.
    A pregnant worker may voluntarily limit exposure to her unborn by declaring her pregnancy in writing to the Radiation Safety Office. Exposure history from declared pregnant radiation workers indicates that the average fetal exposure for the entire gestation period is less than 20 mrem (0.02 rem).


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