In this article, we will explain our fast and simple way to regularly clean and annually inspect your lead apparel. At Imperial, we want to make sure you are getting the maximum life out of your lead apparel while maintaining the best protection for staff and patients. We stand by our simple I.C.A.R.E system as an easy to way remember the proper steps of lead apparel care.

I – Inspect:

Look for any wear and tear including buckles, velcro, tearing in the fabric…etc
You want to inspect your lead apron regularly to make sure there are no defects

C – Clean:

Clean and disinfect fabrics routinely to ensure the apparel is not contaminated with bacteria or germs
that might be a threat to staff or patients.

  • DO’s:
    Spot clean with cold water and mild soap to remove fluids that you may encounter immediately. We recommend using Clorox Healthcare disinfectant spray/wipes or similar products so long as listed safe by the apparel manufacturer. This kills different types of microorganisms within 30 seconds of applying and is great for removing bacteria, blood or other bodily fluids that could be on your apron. Upon application, let the fabric dry for 5 min. Always use a soft brush when scrubbing stains
  • DON’TS:
    Submerge any apparel under water. Use any harsh or unapproved cleaner on the apron. Use a hard-wired brush for scrubbing fabric. Failure to clean apparel properly could increase the risk of bacteria growth as well as shorten the life of the apron.

A – Assess:

The next step you want to do for caring for your lead apparel is assessing the apron for any holes, cracks or thinning of the lead. The most efficient way of checking your lead for radiation leaks is with fluoroscopy/or C-arm. The professional/technologist should place the garment on the table and scan across with live radiation to check for these items. If you do not have fluoroscopy at your facility, lead can be checked the same way by taking standard x-rays of the apparel while repositioning to different areas until the entire piece has been inspected. Artifacts can appear as a black or darker density in the white lead field.

R – Replenish:

When do you reject and replenish lead materials? The recommended guidelines for rejecting and replenishing with a new item: If the artifact exceeds 15mm on any lead apparel or 11mm on thyroid protection. These are guidelines and each apron should be accessed accordingly and depending on where the artifact is located.

PRO TIP – To ensure maximum life expectancy out of your lead apparel, it’s strongly suggested that you hang your aprons on a holder or rack. You do not want to fold or place lead on the floor as this will increase your chances of getting holes or creases in lead

E – Everyone:

Everyone should perform the I.C.A.R.E process every 6 months for best results, and at minimum once a year to make sure that EVERYONE receives the radiation protection they deserve. If you have any other questions on caring for your lead apparel, please contact call 678-733-9990 to speak with an imaging expert