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Radiation Transmission Measurements and Evaluation of Diagnostic Lead-Based and Lead-Free Aprons

J Syh

J Syh1*, (1) Willis-Knighton Medical Center, Shreveport, LA


SU-E-P-9 Sunday 3:00PM - 6:00PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose:This study was conducted to ensure that various lead shield apron manufacturers provided accurate attenuation factors regardless of whether the apron was made of lead-based or lead-free equivalent material.

Methods:A calibrated ionization survey meter was placed at chest height and 36 cm horizontally away from a solid water phantom on a simulator couch. Measurements were done with or without apron. Radiation field was set to 24cmx24cm with the phantom at 100cm source-to-surface distance. Irradiation time was set for 1 minute at voltages of 60, 80, 100 and 120 kVp. Current was set at 6mA.

Results:Between 60 kVp and 120 kVp, the transmission through 0.50 mm of lead-based apron was between 1.0% and 6.5% with a mean value of 3.2% and a standard deviation (s.d.) of 1.4%. The transmissions through the 0.50 mm lead-free aprons were 1.0 % to 12.0% with a mean value of 6.1% and s.d. of 2.6%. At 120 kVp, the transmission value was 6.5% for 0.50 mm lead-based apron and 11.1% to 12.0% for 0.50 mm lead-free aprons. The radiation transmissions at 80 kVp, measured in two different 0.5 mm lead-free aprons, were 4.3% each. However, only 1.4% transmission was found through the lead-based apron. Overall, the radiation transmitted through the lead-based apron was 1/3 transmission of lead-free at 80kVp, and half value of lead-free aprons at 100 and 120 kVp.

Conclusion: Even though lead-based and lead-free aprons all claimed to have the same lead equivalent thickness, the transmission might not be the same. The precaution was needed to exercise diligence in quality assurance program to assure adequate protection to staff who wear it during diagnostic procedures. The requirement for aprons not only should be in certain thickness to meet state regulation but also to keep reasonably achievable low exposure with the accurate labeling from manufacturers.

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