Testing of lead aprons

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Testing lead aprons used in diagnostic radiology departments Advisory information This document has been prepared to assist diagnostic X-ray facilities with fluoroscopic X-ray capabilities to test and assess their own lead protective aprons used within the X-ray department. Lead aprons recommended for use The current conditions of registration for fluoroscopic X-ray equipment in Victoria require that lead protective aprons used for fluoroscopic applications must have the following lead equivalence and dimensions. 1 Lead protective aprons must be provided for all staff carrying out X-ray procedures where a fixed protective barrier is not made available. The aprons: • must have minimum attenuation of 0.35 mm lead Pb for the front section and not less than 0.25 mm of lead Pb for the remaining parts • should be designed to cover at least: o the front part of the body from the throat down to and including the knees the entire breast bone and shoulder o the sides of the body from not more than 10 cm below the armpit to at least half way down the thigh and o the back from the shoulder blades down to and including the knees. Testing of lead aprons All lead protective aprons should be tested for shielding integrity on receipt and thereafter at approximately 12 – 18 month intervals. Each apron should be given an individual identification number which should not be removed. Testing is performed using fluoroscopy on a floating top table. While this will not measure lead equivalence it will quickly show faults holes and apron deterioration. If there is any doubt about an apron it should be withdrawn tained. If damage from use until further advice is ob                                                          for that lead protective apron for future reference. the d date that in the be 2 2 fects greater than 11 mm 2 should be replaced. 2 oria mail: radiation.safetyhealth.vic.gov.au . To receive Environmental Health Unit. Updated December 2011.                                                         1 AS/NZS 4543.3:2000 - Protective devices against diagnostic medical X-radiation Part 3: Protective clothing and protective devices for gonads. to an apron is seen or suspected it should be reported to the Chief Radiographer immediately. The date on which the testing took place should be logged against the individual identification number Criteria for rejection Based on the cost of replacing lead protective aprons and the estimated radiation dose received from a defect it is suggested that lead aprons be replaced if a defect is greater than 15 mm 2 . 2 If defect is clearly not over a critical organ then continued use of the lead apron may continue provided the location of the defect is clearly marked on the lead apron and size location an the defect was identified logged accompanying documentation. Defects not in close proximity of critical organs which are along the seam or in overlapped areas or on the back of the lead protective apron should be subject to a less conservative rejection criterion. In these cases it is suggested that lead aprons replaced if a defect is greater than 670 mm . Thyroid shields with de Further Information Radiation Safety GPO Box 4057 Melbourne Vict 3001 Phone: 1300 767 469 Fax: 1300 769 274 e Authorised by the Victorian Government Melbourne this publication in an accessible format contact the   2 Lambert K and McKeon T “Inspection of Lead Aprons: Criteria for Rejection” Operational Radiation Safety Supplement to Health Physics 80 suppl 5 May 2001 S67- S69. Department of Health