Are you really protected against X-rays at your clinic ?
This is a question that must be asked when we are using an X-ray machine. Several elements of your protective clothing should be checked to ensure that the clinic staff is well protected when taking X-ray of a patient. According to Health Canada, a law regulates radiation protection for protective clothing in a radiology ward1.
Protection clothing required when taking X-rays are the apron, gloves or mittens, and the thyroid gland guard. These three elements are required to ensure maximum security.
Why do I need to protect these regions ?
When taking x-rays, only parts of the body most at risk of exposure are protected. The thyroid gland, lungs and heart are at greater risk of getting cancer.
Protective clothing must ensure lead thickness equivalent of at least 0.5 mm for a voltage of 150 kVp.
Lead thickness of the material must be permanently and legibly marked on each garment, at all times. Otherwise, the product is considered non-regulatory.
All protection clothing must be stored in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations. To prevent lead damage, it is recommended hanging clothes on a holder designed for this purpose. If heavy objects are placed on the protective clothing, there is a risk that the lead might crack.
Check your protective clothing :
An x-ray of each garment is highly recommended once a year or when a defect is suspected. This will ensure that the lead is in perfect condition, which means without any cracks. If this is not the case, the radiation can reach your organs.
1* Protective Clothing Regulation 6.2 :
Protective aprons, gloves and the thyroid gland guard used for radiological examinations in veterinary medicine must provide lead thickness equivalent of at least 0.5 mm for a voltage of 150 kVp. The lead equivalent thickness of the material used must be permanently indicated and legibly marked on the protective devices. Gloves should ensure full protection of the hand, fingers and including the wrist.
Protective aprons, gloves and the thyroid gland guard must be stored and maintained in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations. It is also advisable to check by an x-ray all clothing and protective devices once a year or when a damage is suspected.