Will MRI Expose You to Radiation?

The word “radiation” is often preceded by its unsavory reputation. Known to many people as a leading cause of cancer, radiation is frequently feared and avoided. But the truth is that radiation is all around us, every day: both man-made and naturally occurring, both harmful and harmless. It is impossible to avoid radiation entirely, as our bodies are exposed to cosmic radiation from the sun and solar system or the underground gases releasing emissions through the earth’s soil. And, if you use a cell phone, a microwave or WiFi, you’re exposed again.

So when does radiation exposure become a cause for concern? It’s ionizing radiation that causes damage to body tissue, and can result in mutations and cancer. Ionizing radiation occurs at the ultraviolet end of the spectrum, when electromagnetic waves carry enough energy to displace electrons from atoms and molecules, effectively ionizing them. MRI will not expose you to any ionizing radiation.

On the electromagnetic spectrum, AIM Medical Imaging’s MRI is on the lowest end at 1-100 MHz, which is the wavelength equivalent of AM Radio. At this very low frequency, AIM’s 90 minute Whole Body Diffusion MRI scan with a 1.5 T magnet is the radiation equivalent of 4 hours on a cell phone.

Compare this to:

90 Minute MRI with a 3T magnet – equivalent to 24 hours on a cell phone

X-Ray – High end of electromagnetic spectrum; certain exposure to ionizing radiation

CT Scan – equivalent to 700 X-Rays