You may already know the importance of lead aprons for medical professionals and radiologists working in an x-ray facility or a large hospital.
Radiation shielding using lead is a tried-and-true method of reducing x-ray radiation. As leaded aprons work as a shield, the radiation cannot pass through with the harmful energy level. Before permitting a safe amount of radiation to get through, the leaded shield deflects and diffuses the vast majority of it.
Nevertheless, your xray lead aprons need careful inspection and proper maintenance to keep them in a good working condition for a long period of time.
This post will take you through the important steps of cleaning lead aprons and how to store them safely.
Cleaning lead aprons
Protective clothing is easily stained and can get dirty after long use in a medical environment. If your radiation apron becomes dirty due to blood or other body fluids, you need clean and disinfect it right away.
Follow these steps to clean your x-ray lead apron-
Collect all the necessary items to clean your lead apron. You will need an approved cleaning solution or substances available under various brands in the market. Also, you can use soap or detergent mixed with room temperature water.
Collect a soft Bristol brush, cleaning towel, or a non-abrasive cotton cloth.
Dampen the cleaning towel or soft brush with the cleaning solution and mildly rub on the apron. Pay special attention to the heavily soiled areas.
Wipe the lead apron surface thoroughly and make sure to remove all the solutions.
Use another dampened cotton cloth, cleaning towel microfiber cloth, or brush to thoroughly rinse disinfected areas. Ensure that all cleaning chemicals have been completely removed from the clothing.
When the cleaning is completed, hang the apron flat on an apron wall rack to dry completely.
Avoid the following-
- Never immerse your x-ray lead apron in water or under a faucet.
- Protective clothes should not be machine washed, autoclaved, or dry cleaned.
- Avoid bleach cleaners or wipes and other abrasive chemicals
- Don’t leave cleaning chemicals for a longer time than recommended
- Avoid folding leaded apron when cleaning or drying
Storing x-ray lead aprons
lead aprons needed to be stored properly to avoid cracking or any impairment and protect the apron’s attenuating properties. Lead apron storage racks are available in a range of styles and combinations to suit your medical facility’s requirements.
The manufacturer’s instructions for appropriate handling and storage of the x-ray apron must be followed. X-ray aprons must be placed on hangers while not in use to avoid cracks in the protective lead. Avoid folding or storing the x-ray apron on a flat surface. Because folding can create cracks and reduce the life of the apron. Instead, x-ray aprons should be hung on a dedicated hanger which is authorized.
Avoid storing protective garments under direct sunlight. If it’s impossible to hang the aprons, don’t stack them. Rather, they can be rolled loosely when left for a short time or when carried from one place to another.
Hook and loop fasteners must be securely attached to minimize snagging or ripping of the fabric, h. Make sure to store the apron with the hooks and fasteners entirely secured.
Disposal of radiation protection aprons
Any Lead-containing X-ray lead aprons should be disposed of properly. They must be recycled or disposed of as hazardous waste.
It is recommended to recycle a lead apron than dispose of it as it extends the use of the leaded apron and reduces the threat to be disposed of in landfills. However, if it’s not in a condition to be recycled, contact authorities or a trash disposal service to safely dispose of the leaded materials.