There’s no denying the impact of medical imaging equipment in saving lives. X-ray machines alone have helped countless people since their introduction in the early 1900s. Despite the many benefits of x-ray technology, it comes with a downside: radiation exposure.
Fortunately, x-rays pose little risk to patients because their exposure to radiation is minimal, especially with protective gear. But, radiologists and other healthcare professionals can often face far greater exposure to radiation over time. That’s why using radiology personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential for those working in the field.
Why Is Wearing X-Ray Protection Important?
Every time radiology clinicians use x-ray equipment, they can be exposed to a phenomenon called scatter radiation. The National Cancer Institute defines scatter radiation as “radiation that spreads out in different directions from a radiation beam when the beam interacts with a substance, such as body tissue.”
Exposure to scatter radiation can accumulate in the body over time, causing serious health conditions. That’s where radiation protective clothing or PPE comes into play.
How Does X-Ray Protection Work?
When a person is exposed to x-rays, they collide with atoms in the person’s cells, causing damage on a molecular level. Again, occasional exposure during routine x-rays doesn’t present a serious health threat. But, clinicians use PPE to minimize their exposure as much as possible since their exposure is far greater than the average person’s.
Protective gear blocks x-rays, preventing radiation from passing through cell structures and causing damage. Materials used in radiation PPE, like lead and bismuth, have the ability to stop radiation due to their hefty atomic density. The tightly packed atoms in these materials prevent radiation from reaching the other side and damaging the person’s cells.
Health Conditions Linked to Radiation Exposure
Radiology technicians may be exposed to dozens of instances of scatter radiation daily, which can lead to serious health conditions over time, including a variety of cancers. Excessive exposure to x-rays can also cause hair loss, skin damage, and other serious health conditions. That’s why PPE is so essential to those working in the radiology field—it helps to minimize exposure as much as possible.
Radiation aprons, vests, collars, gloves, and glasses all act as a barrier, shielding the clinician and reducing the potential health impacts associated with regular exposure to x-ray radiation.
Radiation and X-Ray Protective Gear from Imperial Imaging
Imperial Imaging offers a full range of x-ray protective gear and accessories to ensure radiology clinicians and patients receive the protection they deserve. Call 678-733-9990 to speak with an imaging expert.