Status of x-ray viewing boxes in Cross River State, Nigeria

Nneoyi Onen Egbe, Darlene E Bassey, Benedict Ukpepi, Samuel Okon Inyang, Ndubuisi O Chiaghanam, Dianabasi U Eduwem


Purpose:  To determine the luminance and ambient lighting levels of x-ray film viewing boxes and viewing environments in X-ray facilities in the Cross River State of Nigeria in order to compare the results with existing international guidelines. 

Materials and methods:  Eighteen (n=18) viewing boxes in nine hospitals were studied. Luminance and ambient lighting levels were measured using a factory calibrated Model 615 BK precision light meter. Measurements were made from small openings made at the centre and four corners of a thick black sheet of cotton fibre overlying the respective boxes. Measurements were made of the 17 points on each box, and the box mean, highest and lowest luminance, as well as average uniformity values determined. Respective viewing room ambient light levels were determined 30 centimeters (cms) from the viewing boxes surfaces with the boxes turned off. Values obtained were compared with those published in the literature, following the European Commission (EU), American College of Radiology (ACR), British Institute of Radiology (BIR), National Institute of Radiation Hygiene (NIRH), South African Directorate of Radiation (SADR), and World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

Results:  Nine (50%) of the viewing boxes surveyed met the EU and WHO guidelines for uniformity and ambient light levels. All nine study centres met the ACR ambient light conditions, while 6% satisfied the SADR guidelines. Average brightness values of viewing boxes in the nine hospitals surveyed showed poor compliance with the published guidelines. Only one viewing box met the published minimum brightness value of 1500 cd m-2.

Conclusion:  The findings of this study highlight the need for quick intervention and adoption of quality control standards to improve radiographic viewing conditions in the state. This should facilitate optimal viewing conditions thereby enhancing accurate interpretation of conventional radiographic images.


X-rays, radiographs, light meter, luminance, ambient lighting

Full Text:


The South African Radiographer | ISSN 0258 0241

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 South Africa License