Lead Shielding Considerations
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for comprehensive and effective lead shielding. Lead-lined walls, doors, windows, and other components must be manufactured to fit the needs of your exact application. However, there are a few shared lead shielding requirements that are considered in every custom order.
At Radiation Protection Products, we work hard to provide high-quality products and unparalleled knowledge resources. We make sure you understand every aspect of your lead shielding requirements before placing your order. This guide is designed to help you navigate the guidelines and considerations that impact your lead shielding selections.
Considerations for Lead Shielding & Lead-Lined Walls
The following considerations will be made to determine the proper lead shielding for individual applications. Calculations for lead shielding and lead-lined walls will differ for diagnostic machines and radiation therapy machines. We have compiled this page to help you understand the common factors in calculating lead shielding requirements both for diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy.
Please note: all lead shielding requirements must be calculated by a licensed radiation health physicist.
1. Energy Potential
What is the energy potential of the machine? Energy potential is measured in kVp (kilovolt peak) for most diagnostic machinery, and mVp (megavolt potential) for radiation therapy equipment. The more energy your machine produces, the higher the requirement for lead shielding becomes.
Typically, the closer a lead-lined wall is to the radiation source, the greater the lead shielding requirement. Radiation will dissipate more as the distance lengthens between the partition and the radiation source.
The lead shielding on each lead-lined wall, floor, door, or other construction component in the imaging or therapy room will be calculated based on the orientation of the machine in relation to the direction of the primary beam target and secondary scatter.
Being sure to factor in expected patient growth, calculate how many times this machine will be used each day, each week, and each year as radiation is cumulative and can cause damage over time. Always consider any state and federal health or safety guidelines for region-specific lead shielding requirements.
What is the occupancy level of the rooms surrounding the diagnostic or radiation therapy room? How many times during the day will a given room adjacent to the radiation source room be occupied? If the surrounding rooms will be unoccupied, you may require little to no lead shielding on floors and ceilings. If the surrounding rooms will be occupied, you may require a greater level of lead shielding in addition to lead-lined walls.
Oftentimes, consideration will be given to the existing construction materials at a location. For instance, concrete, when thick enough, serves as a suitable alternative to lead shielding against radiation. All penetrations and seams will still require lead shielding of equal value. Additionally, in most cases, according to the NCRP Report #147, the minimum height requirement is set at seven feet.
Contact RPP for Application-Specific Lead Shielding Requirements
For over sixty years, Radiation Protection Products has led the industry in providing high-quality lead-lined walls and other lead shielding products. We work diligently to take all lead shielding requirements under consideration and provide the best materials, best service, and best engineering capabilities on the market.