The harmful effect of radiation on the human body is a well-known fact. While a longer period of exposure for years can cause serious outcomes, even the outcome of short-term radiation exposure is not negligible. For that reason, people working in radiological facilities should take the right preventive measures to be safe from radiation harm.
Radiation protection products are specially designed equipment to provide protection from x-ray radiation.
Before discussing radiation protection products, we first discuss some radiation protection procedures.
Radiation protection procedures
Three essential radiation protection principles are time, distance, and shielding. When it comes to radiation protection, time refers to limiting exposure to the minimum level. Distance refers to staying as far away from radiation sources as possible.
And the third technique is shielding, which is another important technique of radiation protection. As it is impossible for professionals to follow the time and distance technique in most cases, the shielding technique is necessary for their safety.
In this article, we will talk about lead shielding, a proven technique for radiation attenuation and widely used by professionals working in x-ray or radiological facilities.
Lead is one of the most commonly utilized radiation shielding materials. Because of its great density, lead is particularly effective at minimizing x-ray and gamma-ray radiation exposure. Lead shielding is employed in a variety of sectors due to its effective shielding capabilities and low cost.
Why leaded products?
Lead products are meant to reduce the strength of x-ray radiation before it reaches your body. To put it another way, leaded gloves act as a radiation shield. Radiation shielding with lead is a well-tested and popular way to attenuate x-ray radiation. When you use leaded wear, the radiation is unable to pass through. The leaded shield scatters and absorbs the vast majority of the radiation before allowing a safe quantity to get through.
Leaded products to keep you safe from radiation
To protect your entire body, you should use a number of lead products which are described below-
Lead aprons are important safety equipment for radiation protection. And they cover most of the body parts to protect against x-ray radiations. There are two main variations of the leaded apron in medical imaging, which are 0.25 lead equivalent and 0.50 lead equivalent aprons.
Protection level offered by 0.25 mm variation at various x-ray radiation:
- At 50 kVp: 97%
- At 75 kVp: 66%
- At 100 kVp: 51%
Protection level offered by 0.50 mm variation at various x-ray radiation:
- At 50 kVp: 99.9%
- At 75 kVp: 88%
- At 100 kVp: 76%
Various x-ray apron materials
Standard leaded wear is made entirely of lead and is the most conventional and cost-effective choice. These types of leaded wear are heavy in weight and best suitable for short-duration use. The overall weight is subject to the level of protection and areas to be covered.
Lead composite x-ray aprons are made of lead-based composite. These types of aprons are lightweight compared to the traditional lead apron. When other factors like lead equivalency, size, and style are the same as the traditional one, lead-composite variation can reduce the weight up to 25%.
Lead-free x-ray aprons are made from compositions of attenuating heavy metals such as aluminum, bismuth tin, tungsten, barium, and other metals. The non-lead x-ray aprons are the most lightweight option available. Also, they are safe and easy to dispose of, and can be recycled.
Lead gloves are another vital radiation shielding equipment for radiological professionals. Because hands get closer to the x-ray beam in fluoroscopic procedures, they become most vulnerable to the damaging effect of radiation. For that reason, professionals should use leaded gloves during x-ray operations.
You should opt-out for comfortable leaded gloves as you are required
to use your finger frequently while working in a radiological facility.
Another important item of radiation protection is lead glasses, which radiation users and personnel should wear in the operating room or other rooms where radiation is used.
Lead glasses have a greater lead equivalency compared to lead aprons, with a lead equivalency of 0.75 mm. Because your eyes are among the most sensitive body parts, you should pay special attention to prevent the damaging effect of radiation.
The thyroid gland is a highly sensitive body part and should be covered during radiological procedures. You should wear a thyroid shield along with a lead apron and other protective equipment. It is also important check if there is any space left between the thyroid shield and the lead apron.
A quality thyroid collar should be lightweight and simple to use, and it should comfortably wrap around your neck.