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Saturday 24th August 2019

Dentists warned against x-ray machine

4th December 2012

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency has requested that NHS and private dentists get rid of a type of hand-held x-ray device.

Dentist Chair

The Tianjie Dental Falcon, which is made in China by the Zhengzhou Tianjie Electronic Equipment Co, allows users and patients to be exposed to ten times the regular levels of radiation, increasing the danger of cancer and organ damage.

A distribution centre has seized 13 devices and "at least one" surgery has been found to be using the machine, which is sold on eBay.

Scientists at Kings College Hospital in London and the Health Protection Agency carried out emergency tests on the device and found it did not contain enough lead shielding to offer protection to users and patients.

Scientist Donald Emerton, who tested the device, said: "Over time someone operating this machine, such as a dental assistant, would be exposed to unacceptable levels of accumulated radiation and this would have an increased risk to their health."

"I certainly wouldn't want someone to use this piece of equipment to take an x-ray of me." 

The tests also showed the device posed a fire hazard and electrical shock risk to both dentists and patients.

Bruce Petrie, of the MHRA's Medical Devices Enforcement Team, said: "It's vital that dentists and dental staff do not buy these dental x-ray machines from eBay or other websites because they are not approved and not safe for dentists or patients.

"We are working with eBay and other governments to ensure dentists and patients are protected." 


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