Lead the Cheapest Protection Against Radiation…For Now
Lead is the most affordable foil for radiation at this very instant, but that may soon change. New research into the exact reasons why lead is such as good radiation shield is starting to renew a debate in the synthetic materials market. While you might be thinking that a shield made from some high tech alloy or other material is likely to be more expensive than lead shielding that is commonly available, you may only be looking at the short term equation. The long term viability of synthetics and alloys may prove to be a better value in the long run according to studies.
The interesting thing about these studies is that many of them are not originating from sources that you might expect. Instead, they are originating from sources that more closely relate to space exploration! That’s right, the long term and high dose exposure of radiation in space may have presented researchers with deep pockets a problem that medical research companies had no motivation to address. Just what will replace lead is not entirely clear, but it is clear that lead’s exclusive application in this market is about up.
PSA: Lead Radiation Shields & Fertility
Just a friendly public service announcement from a guy who broke his foot today: remember to use that lead radiation shield when you go the hospital to get an x-ray!
A Lead Apron: The Must Have Nuclear Medicine Accessory This Fall…or Any Time Really
New designer clothes are on the shelves again, but one thing really has not changed in terms of fashion: we are still using those god awfully ugly and often heavy lead aprons for x-rays and other nuclear medical applications. That being said, the hospital is a poor fit for a fashion show anyhow, and you really do want to be sure that your organs are highly protected and lead is the best way to go about that.
Why lead? I’m glad that you asked! The best explanation may require an extensive education, but here are the basics. Gamma- and x-rays are so far off the edge of the electromagnet spectrum that they are not even visible! The hyper-excited alpha particles used by modern nuclear medicine are usually the nuclei of readily available helium particles with an overall positive charge. If this is sounding a bit like anti-matter, you may be on to something! The beta particles are electrons that are without a charge. When these two forces meet, they are observable. The problem is that not all of these particles will necessarily reassemble correctly…or without using your particles! Therefore, something with a great degree of radiation resistance is highly recommended!
Does Thickness Count?
There are many different sizes and thickness when it comes to radiation shielding, but now researchers are finally starting to reverse some long term misconceptions about the role of thickness. It used to be a generally understood truth that only dense materials like lead were useful in absorbing potentially harmful radiation doses, but now studies are showing that less dense materials in greater thickness may have just as much resistance to radiation as lead. Of course, thicker lead shields are always a good solution too!
We Have Your Lead Shielding Here!
Whether you are shielding radioactive materials, X-Ray, CT, MRI or PET scanning equipment or the rooms that house them, Medi-RayTM has the shielding components you need: sheet lead and foils, adhesive backed and coated lead materials, custom components and lead stampings.