A Simple Method for the Testing of “Lighter than Lead”...

AbstractID: 7905 Title: A Simple Method for the Testing of "Lighter than Lead" Aprons
A Simple Method for the Testing of “Lighter than Lead” Aprons
In response to demands for more lightweight lead apparel, many manufacturers offer new
products made of composite materials that simulate the attenuation characteristics of lead.
To ensure that the lighter than lead products meet the protection criteria established by
the hospital, we use the following method to measure the lead equivalence of each new
model. Using a Radcal 9010 radiation monitoring system with 6 and 180 cc chambers,
we measure attenuation of primary beam as well as scatter from a tissue equivalent
phantom at kVp settings from 60 to 120. The attenuation results are compared to those of
“standard” 0.5mm lead apron material and to known thicknesses of lead foil. The
attenuation profile of the lead foil and standard lead apron material are very similar with
attenuation at 120 kVp of 95.4 and 90%, respectively. The “lighter” materials ranged
from 84 to 90% in primary beam, and 83 to 90% in scatter with a kVp setting of 120. The
aprons are weighed and a weight/area is calculated. The average surface area is used to
determine average weight/apron. The percent attenuation per pound is calculated for
each apron. A decision to approve an apron for use in the hospital is made by a
committee of medical physicists based on the attenuation profiles in the primary beam,
from scatter, and the percent attenuation per pound.