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pdated: February 7, 2016 20:43 IST
An unethical, imprecise, potentially illegal x-ray practice



Children are vulnerable as they are more radiosensitive than adults

A few months ago, a section of the media reported that as many as 102 children, including orphans, received certificates of age after a dental college in Navi Mumbai used a dental x-ray method to determine their age. For this, the College signed an MoU with Date of Birth Foundation (DoBF), a Hong Kong -based and Chennai- registered NGO.
?In the first phase of the project, 100 children without birth documents were identified from Navi Mumbai region and brought to the dental college, where dental x-rays were obtained and age estimation was done. Hence, age certificates will be issued to these children; now, these kids have a date to remember and celebrate in their lives,? The Daily News and Analysis (The DNA, August 14) quoted the Dean of the college.
?Illegitimate children, children in orphanages, children born at home do not have birth certificates. Through this procedure, we will be able to give them age certificates?, he revealed to The DNA.
Shortly afterwards, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board issued a press release asserting that it does not approve of such routine use of dental x- ray examination of any person solely for age determination as a justified practice. AERB advised all the medical/dental x-ray facilities, dentists/dental surgeons as well as the general public to desist from using dental x-ray examination solely for the purpose of age determination or birth registration. AERB highlighted the fact that x-ray examinations are to be carried out only when it is considered as a medical necessity...
***Note: Radiosensitivity is now thought to follow a U-shaped curve, so older people are also very sensitive.