Considering lead lining for your imaging modalities is always a crucial part of the purchasing process. Any system that produces radiation – rad or R/F rooms, c-arms, x-rays, CT systems – will need lead lining consideration from you and your team. Several factors dictate whether you’ll need lead lining or not, so let’s take a look.
Since requirements for lead shielding vary from state to state, you will need to call your state’s specific agency held responsible for lead shielding and ask some questions. A potentially confusing aspect is that each state uses different agencies for lead shielding rules. In some states, this means lead shielding will be handled in a radiology health division of an environmental agency, possibly a Department of Health, or even an entirely separate radiology department. It’s best to go to your state’s specific official website for information, to find the direct number or agency of the department you need to speak to.
Below are some questions you’ll want to answer and have handy when making your phone call. It’s always best to be prepared!
One question to add to your list: What type of procedures will you be performing on your imaging system? Based on the position of the x-ray source, your state may have exemptions for fluoroscopy based equipment, (like, for example, if your c-arm is aimed toward a bare area in the room). However, if the x-ray beam is continually moved around the room, there may be different lead lining rules set in place for you.
Another question to answer: Where is your imaging room going to be placed in your facility? A good general rule to go by is that the closer your room will be to public exposure, the more lead shielding it will require. Some states require that imaging rooms close to waiting rooms need thicker lead shielding, whereas rooms next to a more bare spot in your facility (outside or storage) can have a thinner type of lead shielding.
As with most things in the US, laws vary from state to state and lead shielding is no different. In some states, lead lining may not be required at all, whereas in others rules may apply based on your procedures and placement, as discussed above. In addition, some states have rules about varying thickness of lead lining based on the specific x-ray system you’re using.
Now that you have your questions ready for your phone call, you can call your states specific lead shielding department and find out once and for all if you need it and what rules are in place. If you still have questions afterward, Amber’s skilled technicians know quite a bit about lead shielding themselves, so feel free to give us a call!