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Radiation danger alert for handheld dental X-ray machines

Recent findings show that the imported, inexpensive, handheld dental X-ray machine, known as the Tianjie Dental Falcon, exposes users and patients to 10 times the normal level of radiation, increasing their risks of cancer and organ damage. The device is manufactured by Zhengzhou Tianjie Electronic Equipment Co.

Tianjie Dental Falcon

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is asking the UK's National Health Service (NHS) and private dentists to dispose of these devices.

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Thus far, 13 of the machines, sold on Internet sites including eBay by the Chinese manufacturer, have been seized at a distribution center.

Emergency testing of the product by the Health Protection Agency and scientists at King's College Hospital in London revealed that it has insufficient lead shielding inside it to protect dentists and patients from excessive radiation. Additionally, the machine's X-ray beam is too wide, which exposes the patient's entire skull and brain to radiation rather than just the mouth.

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."

If you own this particular X-ray machine, contact the MHRA's hotline — 020 3080 6701— or email counterfeit@mhra.gsi.gov.uk.

To read the entire story reported by BBC News Health, click here.

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