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The mother of dose safety

by Carol Ko, Staff Writer | October 01, 2013
From the October 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Quimby contributed to other areas of radiology research as well, making great strides toward protecting people who handled radioactive substances from the harmful effects of exposure. Though radiologists had previously used X-ray film to measure harmful levels of radiation exposure, in 1923, Quimby was the first to create a full-scale “film badge” program. The process consisted of cutting X-ray film into strips, covering them with black paper and distributing them among the laboratory personnel. In addition, Edith developed and taught techniques for disposal of radioactive wastes in hospitals, and procedures for cleaning up accidental radioactive spills.

Quimby also worked on the Manhattan Project, which developed the atom bomb, acted as a consultant on radiation therapy to the United States Veterans Administration, served as an examiner for the American Board of Radiology, and headed a scientific committee of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.

On Quimby’s death in 1982, Dr. Harald Rossi of Columbia University wrote in Physics Today that, “all too often the creative achievements of scientific pioneers are overshadowed by further developments made by others, or simply become anonymous components of accepted practice. Fortunately, Quimby’s exceptional service to radiological physics [is] widely recognized.”

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