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X-Ray Aprons a New Way to Protect Against Radiation

Jul 24, 2008
X-ray aprons are an important part of any doctor's wardrobe. Doctor's that perform surgeries are constantly surrounded by large amounts of radiation. Surgeons rely heavily on the images that x-rays allow them to see. However, taking these x-rays can be extremely harmful to the physician's health. The patients do not have to be nearly as cautious as the physicians because they are not surrounded by radiation as frequently as the surgeons.

One of the best ways for physicians to protect themselves from this radiation is to wear an x-ray apron. These aprons used to be traditionally only made out of lead, however newer alloys are being manufactured that are equally as protective. There are significant downsides to wearing x-ray aprons made of lead.

Lead while it is a great element for protecting against radiation it is extremely heavy. This can really pose a problem for physicians because in some cases they must wear these aprons for long spans of time. Lead has a very high density which why it is able to protect against x-rays so well. Unfortunately its dense nature also makes it very difficult to wear due to its weight. Physicians who have been wearing lead aprons for many years are now developing back problems from having the excessive weight on their bodies for extended periods of time.

Doctors have begun to demand a better solution to radiation protection. While they know that x-ray aprons are a necessity to their work they have asked for a more ergonomically feasible solution to this problem. New technologies have come to light to help these physicians in during these long procedures. New x-ray aprons have begun development from several manufactures that are significantly lighter than their lead counterparts.
These new aprons contain other protective agents to shield from harmful radiation. These new alloys are significantly lighter than the traditional lead x-ray apron. While they are lighter they do protect from radiation at the same rate and in some cases can actually protect better than the old lead aprons. Old aprons that are made of lead should be replaced by these ergonomically suitable substitutes. Doctors are taking on unnecessary risks if they continue to use their old lead x-ray aprons. Upgrading to a new x-ray apron is highly recommended to most surgeons that are wearing the apron for a long period of time. However, there are also concerns for disposal of the old lead aprons since they cannot be simply disposed of in the trash.

Physicians should always dispose of old lead x-ray aprons properly by sending them to a recycling plant. It is vital that doctors take this precaution when getting rid of their old apron because of the contamination factor of lead. This is just another benefit of the newer x-ray aprons. Since they are not made from harmful materials themselves, such as lead, they do not need special disposal procedures. These new elements are not harmful to the environment and will not contaminate areas liked lead will. Physicians should make the switch to a new x-ray apron that is not made from lead if they haven't already, for both their sake and the environments.
About the Author
Stephen Is CEO of Medical Equipment Today a website updating physicians of the latest medical equipment or more information on x-ray aprons
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