Best Practices for Wearing and Maintaining an X Ray Badge

Radiation Safety

Best Practices for Wearing and Maintaining an X Ray Badge

Reviewed by Chris Passmore, CHP

Discover the essential tips and guidelines for properly wearing and maintaining your x ray badge to ensure accurate radiation exposure monitoring.

What Is the Purpose of an X Ray Badge?

An X ray badge, also known as a radiation badge or dosimeter, is a small device worn by individuals exposed to radiation in an occupational setting. The purpose of an X ray badge is to measure and monitor the amount of radiation exposure. After measuring exposures, radiation detection companies provide detailed radiation dose reports for workers to keep companies in compliance with state and federal regulatory limits.

Key Takeaways

  • An X ray badge acts as a personal dosimeter, providing valuable information about the level of radiation the individual has been exposed to over a specific period of time.
  • X ray badges are commonly used in medical facilities, nuclear power plants, research laboratories, and other industries where radiation is present. They play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of workers and helping to prevent overexposure to radiation.
  • By wearing an X ray badge, individuals and companies can monitor the exposure levels in the workplace, determine progression toward the limit, and use the dosimeter result as feedback to make adjustments.
  • ALARA, an acronym for “as low as reasonably achievable,” is the guiding radiation safety principle designed to minimize radiation doses and releases of radioactive materials. Following the ALARA principle includes taking three basic protective measures (exposure time, distance, and shielding) to ensure compliance with safety regulations.1

In summary, an X-ray badge aims to measure and monitor radiation exposure, ensuring the safety of individuals working in environments where radiation is present. Keep reading to learn more about the best practices for wearing and maintaining x ray badges.

Importance of Wearing X Ray Badges Correctly

Correctly wearing X ray badges helps ensure accurate measurement of radiation exposure. Below, we've outlined how proper wear ensures accuracy, compliance, and personal safety.


Improper placement or inconsistent wearing can lead to inaccurate assessment of radiation exposure, which may pose a risk to the individual and compromise the effectiveness of radiation safety programs.

For the most accurate reading, always wear your x ray dosimeter facing the radiation source, in the location on the whole body with the highest exposure. This may include the head, upper arms, upper leg, and torso. The type of badge will determine how and where you should wear it; wear whole body badges at chest or waist level and extremity badges on your wrist or finger.

Pregnant badge wearers can declare their pregnancy and opt into the fetal monitoring program; this is not a must and is up to each individual to decide if they would like to declare their pregnancy. Fetal monitors should be worn under safety equipment, as close as possible to the abdomen, and in the same location every time. A pregnant employee may wear a fetal dosimeter in addition to a whole body badge and any necessary extremity dosimeters (like wrist or ring badges).


State and federal regulatory agencies require workers to wear X ray badges as a safety measure when handling radioactive materials or working around X-ray generating devices. By wearing the badge correctly, individuals can stay compliant with safety regulations, help maintain a safe working environment, and avoid disruptions in work due to ALARA violations.2

Federal standards from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission limit whole-body occupational total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) to 5,000 mrem per year;3 the TEDE is the sum of all the external and internal dose received over the year. Some states add additional requirements on top of what the NRC allows; always follow the lowest annual total effective dose equivalent based on your state and federal guidelines.

Personal Safety

Wearing the badge in the designated location helps individuals monitor their own radiation exposure and take proactive measures to protect their health. An x ray badge serves as a physical reminder to follow proper safety protocols and avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation.

At Radiation Detection Company, we're committed to providing reliable badge service to keep individuals safe in occupational settings. Properly wearing your badge throughout the entire duration of each shift and maintaining your badge ensures proper reporting, which, in turn, keeps everyone safe and healthy.

Proper Maintenance Techniques for X Ray Badges

Taking care of your X ray badge can help ensure the most accurate reading and material longevity. Here are some important techniques that you can follow to maintain your badge:

Check Your Badge Frequently

Inspect the badge regularly for any signs of damage or wear. Check for cracks, discoloration, or other abnormalities. Report any issues immediately to your radiation safety officer (RSO) and badge service provider to request a replacement. Make sure you're following the proper length of wear and exchanging your badge as needed in accordance with your badge service.

Avoid Tampering With the Badge

Tampering with your badge can compromise its functionality and accuracy. At RDC, your badges will arrive ready to wear; there's no need to adjust the packaging.

Properly Store Your Badge

Keep your badge in a safe place, away from any radiation; only remove your badge to wear during your shift and promptly store it at the end of each shift. Exposing an x ray badge to extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, or water can sometimes affect its performance. Keeping your badge in a safe space will help keep it out of your car, out of the elements, and out of the washing machine.

While the parameters above may impact the accuracy of some dosimeter readings, TLD and OSL technologies from Radiation Detection Company are more resilient. Our badges aren’t as susceptible to environmental insults as other TLDs and OSL dosimeters on the market.

Report Radiation Badge Issues Promptly

RDC has been a radiation badge service provider since 1949, and we know mistakes happen. If you suspect your badge has been compromised, we can help. Reach out to our dedicated Customer Success team or log in to MyRadCare to address any issues.

By following these maintenance techniques, you can help ensure the reliability and accuracy of your X ray badge and continue to effectively monitor radiation exposure.

Frequency of Badge Replacement

Aside from digital dosimeters, like NetDose, you'll need to regularly return your X ray badge for processing and reporting. The frequency of badge replacement depends on several factors, outlined below.

Regulatory Requirements

Some regulatory agencies specify the monitoring frequency of X ray badges and require periodic replacements. For example, industrial radiographers typically utilize monthly dosimeter exchanges. It is important to comply with these regulations to ensure accurate radiation monitoring.

Occupational Exposure

Individuals exposed to higher radiation levels may need more frequent badge replacements based on the nature of their work and the potential risk of exceeding ALARA radiation exposure levels.

Manufacturer Recommendations

The manufacturer of the X ray badge will provide guidelines on the recommended replacement schedule. It is essential to follow these recommendations to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the badge. At RDC, we offer annual, semi-annual, quarterly, bimonthly, monthly, and weekly badge delivery. Fetal monitors require monthly reporting.

It is important to consult the regulatory requirements and manufacturer guidelines specific to your industry and work environment. Timely returns are essential are essential for accurate reporting.

Ensuring Accuracy in Radiation Exposure Tracking

Accurate radiation exposure tracking helps maintain the safety of individuals working around radioactive material or X-ray generating devices. Here are some tips to ensure accuracy:

Wear Your Badge Consistently

Always wear your X ray badge during work hours, even if you anticipate minimal radiation exposure. This ensures that all potential exposure is accurately measured and recorded.

Avoid Shielding Your Badge

Do not shield your X ray badge with protective clothing or equipment unless instructed. Shielding can interfere with the measurement of radiation levels and lead to inaccurate readings.

Report Changes in Work Conditions

If there are significant changes in your work conditions or procedures that may affect radiation exposure, such as equipment upgrades or changes in job responsibilities, you should notify the appropriate authority, like your radiation safety officer (RSO). They can assess the need for any adjustments in the badge's settings or issue a replacement.

Regularly Review Radiation Reports

Your RSO should monitor and review your dose reports regularly to identify any abnormal patterns or unexpected increases in radiation exposure. Individual employees should also regularly check dose reports to stay aware of their exposure.

If your RSO notices any concerning trends, they should investigate and identify what caused the increase. Your RSO must report any unsafe radiation thresholds to authorities, like in the event of an ALARA I or II dose level.

Final Takeaways for X Ray Badge Safety

Remember: your safety relies on thorough compliance, and your exposure dose reports require proper wear and maintenance to ensure accuracy. Following the practices above can help you accurately track your radiation exposure and maintain a safe and healthy working environment.

At Radiation Detection Company, we're committed to providing reliable badge service to keep individuals safe in occupational settings. If you have any questions or concerns about your X ray badge, don't hesitate to contact us for assistance at (800)250-3314.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should radiation badges be worn?

You should wear a radiation badge in the area with the highest exposure. This can vary depending on the type of work involved; some common whole body wear areas include the head, upper arms, upper leg, and torso. The goal is to collect an accurate measure of radiation exposure.

When should a staff member wear a personal monitoring badge?

A staff member should wear a personal monitoring badge whenever they work in an environment where they might be exposed to radiation.

Why are radiation badges worn?

Radiation badges are worn to monitor and measure an individual's exposure to radiation, ensuring that they do not violate regulatory guidelines and ALARA principles by exceeding safe levels of exposure. Wearing a radiation badge can help individuals and companies take action to prevent potential health risks associated with overexposure to radiation.

Why do workers using the x-ray scanner have to wear a radiation badge?

Employees using X-ray scanners wear radiation badges to monitor their exposure to radiation. This helps ensure they stay within the safe limits of radiation exposure regulations to avoid potential health risks associated with overexposure.


  1. “Radiation Studies - CDC: ALARA.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 17 May 2022,
  2. "Policies ALARA." National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Accessed 27 Mar. 2024.
  3. “Information for Radiation Workers.” United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 14 Dec. 2021, Accessed 27 Mar. 2024.

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