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Thyroid X-Ray Protection Collar: Providing Radiation Protection

By March 24, 2024April 4th, 2024No Comments

Do you wear a thyroid X-ray collar? This crucial shield forms an essential component of personal protective equipment (PPE) for yourself and the patients under your care. X-ray devices can subject individuals near the primary beam to scatter radiation, posing potential health risks.

The highly radiosensitive thyroid gland, as one of the body’s most susceptible areas, carries a real risk of radiation-induced cancer. Responsible medical approaches must consistently balance the convenience of technology with genuine consideration for long-term well-being. Yet thyroid collars should be addressed despite their indisputable protective value and ease of use. It’s time to rectify this oversight!


Exposing the Thyroid to X-rays

There are very few medical situations necessitating exposure of the thyroid gland to X-rays. Most exposure is inadvertent. This occurs during dental, head, neck, and chest radiographs for patients. For medical professionals, the danger lies in occupational exposure while using X-ray apparatus.

Scheduling an X-ray for thyroid analysis is uncommon. Preferred first-line diagnostic tools include ultrasound imaging or thyroid scan and uptake using a radiotracer. However, there are limited instances where seeing the thyroid on X-ray images may have some value. Even so, most observations happen incidentally on X-rays taken for other purposes. These include:

  • Thyroid cartilage X-ray: Detects injury or abnormality of the laryngeal prominence (Adam’s apple).
  • Thyroid nodule X-ray: Distinguishes between cancerous and non-cancerous nodules.
  • Thyroid calcification X-ray: Discerns hardened cartilage, ligaments, or nodules that could be cancerous.
  • Retrosternal thyroid extension X-ray: Indicates if an enlarged thyroid gland extends below the clavicles (collar bones) and sternum (breast bone).


The Importance of Thyroid X-Ray Protection Collars

Extensive research shows a clearly defined link between thyroid cancer and exposure to ionizing radiation.  For example, an epidemiological study by Y. Zhang et al. (2015) provides evidence that thyroid microcarcinomas may be caused directly by an array of diagnostic X-ray procedures (source:


Why Is the Thyroid Gland Vulnerable to X-Rays?

  1. The thyroid gland contains follicular and papillary cells that secrete thyroid hormones. The high turnover rate of these cells makes them prone to damage by X-rays, with a strong potential for genetic mutations.
  2. Thyroid tissue is inherently dense and compact. Concentrated tissue mass intensifies the impact of radiation per unit, where a single dose can affect numerous cells.
  3. Unlike some other organs, the thyroid gland lacks efficient repair mechanisms. Once damaged, regeneration and recovery are unlikely.


How Does a Thyroid Shield Work?

  1. A thyroid collar contains a lead or lead-free equivalent core material. This high-density lining contains tightly packed atoms that attenuate X-rays, preventing transmission to the underlying thyroid gland.
  2. The thyroid gland nestles at the base of the throat, wrapped around the front of the trachea. Thyroid collars cover the neck and upper chest area completely and securely, ensuring proper protection. 


What Are the Advantages of Using Thyroid X-Ray Collars?

Wearing a thyroid collar provides essential protection from the hazards of X-ray exposure. However, professional, ethical, social, financial, and legal considerations offer further benefits. Let’s investigate these advantages:

  • Implementing the ALARA principle: The overarching maxim of radiation requires that the dose be As Low As Reasonably Achievable. Shielding is a vital tenet underpinning this principle.
  • Preventing radiation-induced diseases: Covering the thyroid area mitigates the development of potentially life-threatening or debilitating diseases such as thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism.
  • Preserving future health: All radiation doses are cumulative. Minimizing exposure is crucial for medical providers and individuals who frequently undergo radiologic procedures.
  • Supporting optimized imaging protocols: Localized thyroid protection enables necessary exposure of other body areas for diagnostic accuracy. The risks can be reduced without compromising image quality.
  • Reassuring patients: Providing patients with thyroid protection reduces anxiety and enhances their overall experience. This psychological aspect boosts trust and cooperation.
  • Complying with regulations: Using thyroid collars ensures that you and your facility meet legal obligations for protecting staff and patients. Adherence to safety guidelines and regulations forms part of best practices.
  • Providing long-term cost-effectiveness: Proper thyroid shielding addresses potential health concerns proactively. Prevention of radiation-induced disease reduces the burden on healthcare systems. 


How to Choose Your Thyroid X-Ray Collar

How do you select the best thyroid collar? With your health and pocket on the line, you should always base your decision on two major considerations—accessibility and versatility. Your choice should integrate easily into your medical imaging procedures without hindering the diagnostic process. Furthermore, it may need to be adaptable to different wearers and imaging modalities.

Barrier Technologies® makes the choice easy for you! We offer:

  • Lead or lead-free core material with 0.5 mm lead equivalence.
  • Velcro or MagnaGuard™ magnetic closures.
  • Fabric options include standard or ripstop nylon, designer prints, or impervious UltraFlex™.
  • A choice of three styles:


1. Boomerang:

  • Protects the front and sides of the neck.
  • Comfortable and relaxed fit.
  • Standard collar for general radiography applications.


2. Visor:

  • Front panel shields the thyroid and upper chest.
  • Wraps snugly around the neck.
  • For operating theaters and catheterization labs.


3. Disposable:

  • Ideal for patients, trainees, and temporary staff.
  • Eliminating sharing prevents hospital-acquired infections.
  • Doesn’t require special disposal protocols.


Caring for Your Thyroid X-Ray Collar

Proper care and maintenance will ensure your thyroid shield’s effectiveness, cleanliness, and longevity. Here are five tips for you:

  1. Handle your thyroid collar with clean hands to avoid contamination with grime or microbes.
  2. Store it flat or hang it on a dedicated rack in a cool, dry place. (See our X-Ray Accessories catalog.)
  3. Avoid folding or creasing to prevent damage to the core material.
  4. Wipe the fabric clean between uses with a mild disinfectant or soap and water. (Try our handy Secure Shield X-Ray Apron Cleaning Wipes for best results.) 
  5. Regular inspection, including an X-ray of the thyroid collar, will show cracks or tears.


Get Premium Radiation Protection With Thyroid X-Ray Collars From Barrier Technologies

Regarding radiation protection, you don’t have to stick your neck out! Barrier Technologies supplies scientifically engineered and meticulously fabricated thyroid X-ray collars for all medical imaging procedures. Trust our advanced technology and cutting-edge materials to safeguard your delicate thyroid gland from harmful ionizing radiation.

If you want reliable coverage with stylish options, we have the perfect fit for you, your patients, and your diagnostic procedures. You can perform your important life-saving work comfortably and with complete peace of mind. 

Contact us with all your radiation-related queries and to place your order. Experience our top-tier service today!