Reduce Your Radiation Risk!
Protect yourself from dangerous scatter radiation in the workplace.
Pulse Medical offers an industry-leading lineup of lead aprons, x-ray glasses and other radiation protection products. They come in stylish choices PLUS certified protection that makes it safer to do your job each day. Our safety collection includes:
How Do I Choose the Right Lead Apron?
Pulse protective garments are incredibly comfortable — with lightweight and non-leaded options and plenty of styles and designs to choose from.
1. Select Your Style.
If your work is primarily in the OR, ER or Radiology, you may only need x-ray protection in the front — such as with a Buckle-Front, Cummerbund-Belt or Velcro-Front Lead Apron. For radiation shielding in the Cath Lab, IR or EP, full front and back protection may be necessary, such as with a Back-Close Wrap Jacket, Overlap Vest or Slot Stretchy Back Jacket.
Whatever the style, keeping the weight off is easy. Pulse aprons come in your choice of Featherweight, Ultra-Lite™ and Earth-Lite™ material, and you can always add a weight reliever belt, suspenders or other comfort features for all-day comfort.
2. Choose Your Protection. (click to read more)
For years, the standard for x-ray protection has been to have a barrier between the operator and the fluoro source that provides frontal protection equivalent to a piece of pure lead 0.5mm thick (0.5mm Pb equivalency).
Some physicians and clinical workers feel their badge readings are fine and opt to operate with less protection (0.35mm Pb equiv.). The result is a lighter, less expensive apron — albeit, one that offers slightly less radiation protection. See the Transmission % for Scatter chart for the protection variance for different lead equivalencies.
You’ll want to determine the percentage of transmission that is acceptable to you in your work environment. Your radiation safety office should be able to help you make an informed decision. (Click here for more information on understanding lead and lead equivalency.)
Ultimately, weight is determined by both the lead apron thickness (Pb equivalency) and the type of protective material used. Non-leaded and Lead Composite aprons weigh less than a traditional apron, but provide the same direct beam protection as a full-lead apron at kVPs ranging between 75 and 120. Apron style also impacts weight, A front-protection-only apron will obviously weigh less than a two-piece, full-protection apron,
See the Weights of Frontal Aprons chart and Weights of Two-Piece Aprons chart to get an idea of the approximate apron weight depending on style and amount of protection.
Keep in mind that there is no miracle for reducing weight. The only way a medical apron can be made lighter is to use a lighter-weight protective material or reduce the thickness (lead equivalency).
3. Pick Your Size.
An x-ray apron can protect up to 80% of the active blood-forming organs in the body. But it all starts with a proper fit — one that optimizes protection while maximizing comfort and mobility. When purchasing radiology lead aprons from Pulse, you have three options to ensure the perfect fit:
- Use our sizing guide (click here) to see the measurements for our standard aprons, then order one online in our Lead Apron Shop.
- Call a Customer Service Representative at 1-800-342-5973 x1382 or 706-632-1370 x1382 to order a custom-tailored lead apron at no additional charge. Download our measuring form here.
- Request an in-person fitting from one of our knowledgeable in-the-field Sales Representatives. Call Pulse or complete the form here to see if we have a Sales Rep in your area who can measure you.
⇓ FEATURED ITEMS – CLICK A PRODUCT FOR MORE DETAILS! ⇓
Two types of core materials are available for your X-ray apron — lead and lead-free.
Traditional lead sheeting is just that — thin sheets of lead. The lead blocks/absorbs X-ray radiation due to its high density. A sheet (or sheets) of lead with 0.5mm Pb equiv provides up to 99% protection at 80 to 100 kVp. [Peak kilovoltage (kVp) is the measure of the maximum voltage applied across an X-ray tube.]
By contrast, lead-free material uses a mixture of two attenuating elements – antimony and bismuth. The protection provided by the sheeting is compared with that of pure lead and referred to as “Lead Equivalence.”
Note that all standard Pulse Medical aprons provide the same level of protection regardless of the core material. Unless ordered or noted otherwise, Pulse’s aprons, gloves and shields contain a minimum equivalency of 0.5mm Pb at 90 kVp, which is in full compliance with Nuclear Regulatory Commission standards.
Radiation protection products are simply too critical to farm out to unskilled workers or send overseas. Pulse protective garments are carefully assembled by hand in our modern, 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. Located in Blue Ridge, Georgia, we are blessed to be able to draw from the rich legacy of textile manufacturing in the South. In fact, many of our seamstresses, operators and production managers come to us from the Levi Strauss & Co. manufacturing plant that operated here for many years.
Pulse Medical follows strict production processes and has taken the extra step of being ISO 9001/2008 certified specifically for the “Design and manufacture of protective eyewear, and lead and non-lead protective aprons.”
Q: What Are the Minimum Required Levels for Lead Radiation Shielding?
A: Both the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recommend that radiation protection products meet the following levels:
- Lead aprons — 0.5mm lead equivalency
- Lead gloves, protective curtains — 0.25mm lead equivalency
- Thyroid collars — 0.25mm lead equivalency
- Maternity aprons — total of 1.0mm Pb equivalency at fetal level
- Bucky slot cover — 0.5mm lead equivalency
Q: How Much Radiation Protection Is Provided at Various Levels?
A: Lead is able to block/absorb X-ray radiation due to its high density. The following list provides a comparison of lead radiation shielding provided by various lead thicknesses at 80kV:
- 0.125mm Pb = 80% protection
- 0.25mm Pb = 96% protection
- 0.35mm Pb = 97% protection
- 0.50mm Pb = 99% protection
- 1.00mm Pb = More than 99% protection
kVp, or peak kilovoltage, is a measure of the kinetic energy of the electrons accelerated in the X-ray tube.
Q: How Should Lead Aprons Be Stored?
A: Despite their bulk, X-ray protection aprons are actually fairly delicate. Aprons should never be folded or creased, as cracks in the lead lining can develop. Hang aprons by the shoulders on an approved apron hanger or rack (avoid laying or storing them flat).
Pulse offers a complete line of apron hangers and racks (click here to see our selection) to help extend the useful life of your apron.