The dose from compton backscatter screening

Peter Rez, Robert L. Metzger, Kenneth L. Mossman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Systems based on the detection of Compton backscattered X rays have been deployed for screening personnel for weapons and explosives. Similar principles are used for screening vehicles at border-crossing points. Based on well-established scattering cross sections and absorption coefficients in conjunction with reasonable estimates of the image contrast and resolution, the entrance skin dose and the dose at a depth of 1 cm can be calculated. The effective dose can be estimated using the same conversion coefficients as used to convert exposure measurements to the effective dose. It is shown that the effective dose is highly dependent on image resolution (i.e. pixel size).The effective doses for personnel screening systems are unlikely to be in compliance with the American National Standards Institute standard NS 43.17 unless the pixel sizes are >4 mm. Nevertheless, calculated effective doses are well below doses associated with health effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberncq358
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalRadiation Protection Dosimetry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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