Synopsis of the USRT Study

The U.S. Radiologic Technologists (USRT) Study is a collaborative effort between the University of Minnesota, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) to investigate potential radiation-related health effects from low-dose occupational radiation exposure.

More than 110,000 radiologic technologists — current and former — have participated in this study by completing one or more of the questionnaire surveys about their work history, health status, and other factors. Through their participation in the study, we are learning more each year about radiation and health.

This study began in 1982 by identifying 146,022 current and former radiologic technologists who were certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) for at least two years from 1926 through 1982. The study cohort includes technologists certified in radiography, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and other imaging specialties.

The key goal of the study is to understand how repeated low-dose occupational ionizing radiation exposures, such as those potentially experienced by radiologic technologists, are related to cancer and other health conditions.

This study is unique because:

  • It represents the most comprehensive study of people exposed to radiation in medical jobs.
  • It is a nationwide study representing all U.S. states and territories.
  • It is the largest study of people working in the medical field who are exposed to ionizing radiation.
  • The study population is mostly women.

The study conducted four major surveys during 1983-2014. Additionally, follow-up questionnaires were sent to Fourth Survey responders who reported working with radioisotope or fluoroscopically-guided procedures to obtain more detailed information about work practices and exposures related to these procedures.