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Staff Shortage Leaves Half Of Arizona's X-Ray Facilities Overdue For Inspection

Nearly half of Arizona’s x-ray facilities are overdue for an inspection, according to a new reportfrom the Arizona Office of the Auditor General.

The Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency has fallen behind on inspections for 49 percent of the 2,400 x-ray facilities in the state, according to the report.

Agency director Aubrey Godwin said a lack of manpower is to blame. A long training period for a small number of inspectors has caused the agency to fall behind.

"It just takes time to get things done, and more inspectors would be one way," Godwin said. "Now, I’m not sure we’d need 17, like some people have suggested, or 23, like Tennessee, but, you know, we need more than five."

The report said the agency should consider hiring private inspectors, as this issue puts the public at risk. But Godwin said Arizonans shouldn’t worry too much about their next x-ray because the facilities that still need inspecting have a record of safe radiation levels.

Godwin said that while the inspections of many facilities may be lagging, those that conduct mammograms are up to date thanks to funding from the federal government.

Karla Liriano is a junior at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication studying broadcast journalism with a minor in political science and a certificate in international studies. She was born in the Dominican Republic and has lived in New York and Pennsylvania.