Lead equivalent personal protection

All radiology and operating rooms departments should have lead equivalent personal protective equipment (PPE) available. There are three traditional principles of safety against ionizing radiation: time, distance and shielding. It is important to remember that all three principles have a role to play in ensuring radiation safety. This article looks at some of the protection options that should be available, but it is equally important to know the inverse square law and the duration of people’s exposure to radiation. However, as forward scatter and back scatter are created by all scattered objects (this refers to anything that also attenuates radiation), the pattern changes, it is important to understand radiation dose as it affects each person or person. object in the room. in dosage.

Lead radiation X-ray shielding

Lead aprons
Lead aprons are one of the key parts of personal radiation protective equipment along with lead gloves, goggles, and thyroid shields.

In medical imaging there are two main types 1:

Lead equivalence 0.25mm
weighs 1-5 kg ​​(“light apron”)
attenuates 75% of the X-ray beam at 50 kVp
attenuates 51% of the X-ray beam at 100 kVp
Lead Equivalence 0.5mm
weighs 3-7 kg (“heavy apron”)
attenuates 99.9% of the X-ray beam at 50 kVp
attenuates 75% of the X-ray beam at 100 kVp
0.35mm lead equivalent aprons are also used, with a yield between 0.25mm and 0.5mm lead equivalent aprons. The choice between different aprons is based on the balance between radiation protection and the injuries caused by a heavier apron.

Lead aprons should be stored in special racks and avoid kinks or wrinkles as this would create the wire and they should be tested annually for cracks 2,3.

Lead glasses
Lead-acid goggles are another important element of radiation protection and should be worn by radiation users / workers in the operating room or other areas where radiation is used, such as the cardiac catheterization lab or angiography room.

Lead glasses have a higher lead equivalency than lead aprons and usually have a lead equivalence of 0.75mm.

Since the lens is susceptible to cataracts, which is a deterministic effect of radiation, it is extremely important to protect the eyes from radiation.

Thyroid shields
Thyroid guards should be worn whenever a lead apron is worn and should be worn fairly tight. Despite the widespread awareness that the thyroid gland is sensitive to radiation, studies have found that there are no clear protocols for the use of the thyroid protector 4,5. It is worth noting that not all personal protective equipment (PPE) is equally effective and the classification must be verified before use 5.

Lead gloves
Lead gloves should be worn when the user’s hands are close to the main beam in fluoroscopy-guided procedures. Lead gloves can attenuate the primary beam from 25.8 to 26.5% 6. Many users who need to be this close to the patient during fluoroscopy-guided procedures require finger dexterity for the procedure and may not be able to use gloves that are invariably bulky. In these cases, the user must ensure that the hands do not remain in the beam longer than absolutely necessary.

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