Light-weight lead aprons--light on weight, protection or labelling accuracy?

Australas Phys Eng Sci Med. 2005 Jun;28(2):128-30. doi: 10.1007/BF03178704.


X-ray transmission tests were performed on a Green-Lite (Infab Corporation) apron/vest combination, and compared to a number of other apron/vest combinations routinely used at Christchurch Hospital as well as a sheet of 0.5 mm lead. The materials were X-rayed using the primary beam of a Philips Optimus 50 X-ray machine over an energy range of 50-125 kVp. The entrance and exit doses were recorded and percentage transmission calculated for each kVp. The Green-Lite apron/vest (labelled as 0.5 mm lead at 85 kVp) relies on the overlap at the front to provide the nominal 0.5 mm protection for both the vest and the apron. It performed significantly worse than 0.5 mm of lead and other 0.5 mm lead equivalent apron/vest combinations and provided between 0.3 and 0.39 mm lead equivalent protection depending on the energy used. Vests from other manufacturers all achieved 0.5 mm lead equivalence for a single layer of vest material over the range of energies tested and so were comparable to 1.0 mm lead when doubled. Some aprons relied on a double layer of material to achieve the 0.5 mm lead equivalence (which was not always made clear on the label), while others stated their lead equivalence for a single layer. This resulted in some confusion among wearers of the aprons as to which apron was better.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Failure Analysis / methods*
  • New Zealand
  • Product Labeling*
  • Protective Clothing*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Protection / instrumentation*
  • Radiometry / methods*