A kit that will allow physicians to perform simple tests of the safety of their x-ray equipment eventually will be available, according to the US Public Health Service.
The mailable packet is called Surpak. More than 58,000 have already been distributed in 39 states for use by dentists. The kit includes a film which the dentist places under the pointer cone of his x-ray machine, exposes, and sends to his state or local health agency.
This information, together with other data provided by the dentist, makes it possible to assess the size of the beam at the end of the pointer cone, the approximate output, total filtration, beam symmetry, and leakage of radiation in the direction of the patient's face. The health department then mails the proper filters and collimators to the dentist.