How to Choose the Correct Radiation Protective Clothing

What image springs to mind when you read “radiation protective clothing”? Most people picture brave heroes in heavy hazmat suits with respirators rushing headlong into a nuclear reactor that’s about to melt down in some Hollywood blockbuster! 

While we all love a good movie, Barrier Technologies® knows that our real unsung heroes are radiologic professionals.

You daily face the dangers of ionizing X-ray radiation to perform necessary medical procedures. However, you should never compromise personal safety while delivering precise diagnoses, X-ray-guided interventions, or targeted radiotherapy. Selecting suitable shielding apparel requires consideration of many variables, including the nature of the procedures undertaken and the length of time of exposure.

Let us help you choose the correct protective clothing for radiation to ensure your continued good health.


What Is Radiation Protective Clothing?

X-ray protective radiation clothing refers to specialized personal protective equipment (PPE) that safeguards healthcare and other radiologic workers from the harmful effects of scattered radiation. Such garments incorporate a core material containing lead (Pb) or substances with comparable density. This vital lining attenuates X-ray photons, reducing penetration into the body and possible cellular or genetic damage.

The thickness and composition of the core material determine the level of protection. The ability of the material to act as a barrier to radiation is termed lead equivalence (LE). It’s measured in mm Pb, denoting the thickness of lead that affords the same degree of attenuation.

Another critical feature of X-ray PPE is its protection zone. The design should shield the intended area and protect the most radiosensitive tissues. Protective clothing may cover a large area of the wearer’s body, such as a full lead apron, or specific body parts, such as lead gloves.


Four Factors to Consider When Choosing Protective Radiation Clothing


1. Which Core Material Is Best?

Although lead may still be the gold standard for radiation protection, modern lead-free equivalents offer similar protection. They are well worth the small extra cost. Barrier Technologies recommends our proprietary tungsten-based core material, which is significantly lighter than lead and completely non-toxic.

2. What Lead Equivalence Do You Need?

The higher the LE, the better the protection. Select a thicker LE for lengthy procedures with a higher kilovoltage peak (kVp), such as interventional cardiology. Most of Barrier Technologies’ garments provide 0.5 mm Pb. Exceptions are our radiation-protective gloves in 0.02 or 0.04 mm Pb. We also supply lead-lite protective aprons and headgear options with 0.35 mm Pb. 

3. What Parts of the Body Should Be Covered?

If you are stationary and facing the active X-ray beam, your three main vulnerability zones comprise the chest, thyroid gland, and reproductive organs. If you move around or perform interventional procedures in the X-ray field of view, add garments that protect your back, arms, hands, and head.

4. Can You Handle the Weight?

Protective clothing against radiation can be cumbersome, causing musculoskeletal issues and fatigue. If you spend long hours on your feet or work in unnatural positions, get PPE designed for maximum comfort and flexibility. Choose items with adjustable fit and inserted pads, better all-around weight distribution, or lead-free, light radiation protective clothing.  


What Are the Types of Radiation Clothing?


1. Aprons

An X-ray protective apron forms the basic, standard protective garment.

  • Full aprons: These extend from shoulders to knees, covering all the major organs and the long bones of the upper legs.
  • Half and demi aprons: Provide pelvic and gonadal protection for staff and patients.
  • Dental aprons: Convenient all-in-one design shields a patient’s torso and thyroid gland during dental X-rays. 


2. Thyroid Shields

Some form of thyroid protection is essential. A thyroid collar can be a separate item or sewn into a protective apron. 

  • Boomerang collars: Comfortably cover the neck and throat area.
  • Visor collars: An extra panel protects the upper chest.
  • Disposable collars: Cost-effective shielding for short-term staff and patients. 


3. Gloves

Barrier Technologies’ innovative lead-free Secure Touch® gloves provide unmatchable grip and flexibility for unrestricted manual dexterity during delicate procedures. 

  • XR1 gloves: For heightened tactile sensitivity.
  • XR2 gloves: For maximum X-ray attenuation.
  • XRF gloves: Latex-free to eliminate allergic reactions. 


4. Sleeves

Barrier Technologies supplies half and full-length sleeves to shield the long bones of the arms and axillary lymph nodes. They also provide side-on protection for the breasts. We suggest pairing our sleeves and gloves for optimal protection of the upper extremities, particularly during procedures such as cardiac catheterization. 

5. Headgear

Lead headbands and caps minimize the radiation dose to the forehead and brain during fluoroscopic procedures. Additionally, leaded headgear reduces scatter radiation reaching the eyes. They are an excellent choice for interventional specialists, notably cardiologists.


Where to Buy High-Quality Radiation Protective Clothing?

If you’re looking for high-quality radiation protective clothing manufacturers, then Barrier Technologies is the logical choice.  We provide unparalleled service, customizable options, and rapid turnaround times. Our firm commitment manifests in your ultimate safety and convenience.

But don’t take it from us—here are some 5-star reviews from our satisfied customers!

  • “I have had a great experience with this company. I have super light lead for my office and awesome leaded prescription glasses! Highly recommend their products.” – Roberto Miki.
  • “Excellent experience purchasing the apron lead-free UltraFlex model. Quite satisfied with the purchase. Fast, professional and high-quality service…” – Jonathan Watanabe.
  • “Company with excellent service, clarity, agility, and efficiency at all purchase stages. I imported my Lead apron zero lead radiological protector to Brazil and received excellent service from the company’s representative…” – Diogo Takemoto.
  • “Excellent products, excellent service, excellent attention, and helpfulness! I recommend!” – Eder Souto.


Barrier Technologies Is the Best Radiation Protective Clothing Manufacturer!

Barrier Technologies has the utmost respect for radiologic professionals and your important work. It guides our dedication to producing effective, easy-to-use radiation protective clothing to safeguard you from the hazards of scatter radiation. 

Acknowledged as an industry-leading manufacturer of radiation protective clothing, we offer cutting-edge solutions for the medical, dental, veterinary, nuclear, and defense sectors.

We know that choosing the correct protective gear can be a daunting task. With so many options, how do you decide what is best for you, your staff, and your facility? Ask us! We strive to provide all our valued clients with expert advice and helpful information.

Barrier Technologies will always go the extra mile to get you properly equipped, on time, every time. Contact us today!