South Korea reduces healthcare workers’ exposure to radiation by half

Strict enforcement of radiation monitoring and procedural evaluations has led to a drastic reduction of South Korean healthcare workers' exposure to radiation over the past 10 years, according to government data published online in the Korea Herald.

Statistics from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), which monitors occupational risks from radiation for radiographers, doctors, dentists and radiologists, show that the average amount of radiation exposure for healthcare workers in the country was 0.41 millisievert in 2014, down 58 percent from 0.97 mSv in 2004.

Those exposure levels meet the recommendations set by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, which calls for annual exposure levels below 50 mSv per year.

"Closer attention paid by medical institutions and better monitoring systems are contributing to people being placed at less risk from excessive radiation," the KCDC said, while stressing that even more improvement is needed as patient demand for imaging procedures in South Korea continues to grow.