A comparison of dose savings of lead and lightweight aprons for shielding of 99m-Technetium radiation

Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2007;124(2):89-96. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncm176. Epub 2007 May 24.


Nuclear medicine technologists (NMTs) have the highest effective doses of radiation among medical workers. With increase in the use of lightweight materials in diagnostic radiography, the aim was to compare the effectiveness of lead and lightweight aprons in shielding from 99m-Technetium ((99m)Tc) gamma rays. The doses received from a scattering phantom to the entrance, 9cm depth and exit of a phantom were measured with LiF:Mg, Cu, P thermoluminescent dosemeters (TLDs). Doses and spectra were assessed without no shielding, with 0.5-mm lead and lightweight aprons. The lead and lightweight aprons decreased entrance surface doses by 76 and 59%, respectively. The spectral analysis showed that the lightweight apron provided better dose reduction at energies <95 keV, though lead was 35% more efficient at higher energies. While lead apron demonstrated better shielding, the additional savings should be considered with the weight differential. It is concluded that the lightweight apron is suitable to be worn by NMTs interacting with patients injected with a (99m)Tc labelled radiopharmaceutical.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Body Burden*
  • Humans
  • Lead*
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis*
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Protective Clothing*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Protection / instrumentation*
  • Radiation Protection / methods
  • Radiometry
  • Relative Biological Effectiveness
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Technetium / analysis*


  • Lead
  • Technetium