EuroSafe Imaging 2020
Multicentre study, Not applicable, Quality assurance, Occupational / Environmental hazards, Safety, Radiation safety, Health policy and practice, Mammography, Digital radiography, CT, Radioprotection / Radiation dose, Physics in Medical Imaging
M. Barati, H. Tekin, N. Blazquez, R. Griskevicius , E. Kostopoulou, B. Cavli, M. Vaišvilaite, K. Katsari, C. Paraskevopoulou
Lead Radiation Protection Apparel (RPA) is routinely used for radiation protection of patients, accompanying persons and personnel during diagnostic and interventional procedures. Shielded aprons, gonad shields, thyroid shields and shielded gloves are routinely used RPAs and often contain lead as a radiation protective material. The construction method and lead content of radiation protection garments varies by manufacturer, but traditionally lead powder with or without other metals is mixed with rubber or polyvinyl chloride to form sheets, which are then sewn on the inside of nylon fabric. Although lead-free RPAs are available, those containing lead remain the predominant type in use.
Lead is known to be a highly toxic metal and chronic lead exposure, often asymptomatic, results in increased morbidity and mortality. The lead encapsulated inside RPAs has long been believed to pose no health risk. A pilot study for lead dust presence on lead Radiation Protection Apparel (RPA) was launched in 2018 in 11 Affidea diagnostic imaging centers in Hungary. The results of this study were presented at ECR2019 (B-1200) and demonstrated that lead dust assessment should be included in the RPA Quality Control (QC) program. The investigation was rolled out in four additional countries of the network to verify the conclusions in a bigger and diverse sample.