When Is It Time For A New X-Ray Apron?

How Long Will My X-Ray Apron Last? 

The life of an x-ray apron will depend on the frequency of use, applications and how it is stored when not in use. Properly caring for your x-ray apron is the easiest way to extend the useful life of your apron. It is recommended to have the lead apron examined fluoroscopically at least once a year.

When Should I Replace My X-Ray Apron? 

“Any radiation protection garment displaying breaks in the lead lining should be replaced.” e.g. Rejecting an x-ray apron depends on the location, area size and number of flaws. It is best to keep the number of flaws to a minimum – Source: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Service Regulation, Radiology Compliance Branch, Radiation Protection Section¹

Lead Apron Integrity Inspection

X-ray aprons should never be folded. Cracks in the lead lining can develop at the fold reducing the useful life of the apron. The x-ray apron should be inspected annually or manufacturers recommendations.

Fluoroscopic Inspection

  1. Lay x-ray apron on the table
  2. Examine the entire x-ray apron using the fluoroscope
  3. Record results of the inspection following your facilities or state protocol

Fluoroscopic Inspection Alternative (When fluoroscopy unit is not available)

  1. Closely inspect the x-ray apron for kinks, creases, and irregularities
  2. Take a radiograph of the suspect areas (e.g. areas where the lead lining may be compromised)
  3. Process the film and inspect for breaks or flaws in the lead lining
  4. Record results of the inspection following your facilities or state protocol

Before Purchasing New X-Ray Aprons

Check with your Radiation Safety Officer to determine what lead equivalency is required to be compliant with your state’s radiation protection regulations. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists has a helpful page that lists the contact information for each state.

 

Please Note: The information included in this post is intended for general reference only. The information provided is not a substitute for professional radiation protection advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice.

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