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, 18 (2), 147-52

How Protective Are the Lead Aprons We Use Against Ionizing Radiation?

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How Protective Are the Lead Aprons We Use Against Ionizing Radiation?

Orhan Oyar et al. Diagn Interv Radiol.

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate, in terms of their protective features, the lead aprons used in areas working with ionizing radiation at a hospital by analyzing qualitative and quantitative aspects using a variety of methods.

Materials and methods: Eighty-five protective lead aprons used in our hospital's clinics to work with ionizing radiation were analyzed in the radiology unit. Each apron was identified by registering the unit from which it had been obtained and by how long it had been used, its storage condition, and its lead thickness. X-ray films of the aprons, controlled according to their appearances, durability and cleanliness, were taken to evaluate their internal structure; their permeability was measured with electronic dosimeters in terms of their absorbent features. All of these data were compared with the results acquired from brand-new, Turkish Standards Institution approved aprons having different lead thicknesses.

Results: Regarding internal structure homogeneity, only 13 (15.3%) of 85 aprons were found to be at normal levels and usable. A total of 14 (16.5%) of the remaining 72 aprons' radiation absorptions were at normal levels, but folds were observed in their protective lead layers. The remaining 58 aprons (68.2%) were found to be defective. All of the aprons were considered to be defective in terms of their radiation permeability.

Conclusion: All of the aprons were found insufficient for protection and were more radioparent than the defined limits; it was concluded that they must be replaced by new ones.

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