Medicine: The Boot

In most parts of the U.S., doctors can do nothing about the haphazard use of X-ray fitting machines in shoe stores (TIME, Sept. 19) except denounce it as dangerous. But in Washington last week the District of Columbia's Commission on Medical Licensure tried a neat trick: it banned use of the machines except by licensed operators—and no shoe-store clerk could qualify for a medical operator's license.

In a ten-second exposure to the average machine, the commission estimated, a child might get as much as ten roentgens of radiation. "That's just ten too many for a useless exposure," said Dr. Daniel...