Answer to Question #11996 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"
Category: Medical and Dental Equipment/Shielding — Lead Aprons
The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:
How do you test the integrity of a lead apron with fluoroscopy? Are there specific settings you must use in order to see the lead apron? Do you change the peak kilovoltage (kVp) or the TV camera aperture? Is the lead apron supposed to be placed on the table or do you remove the table? Is it a photospot image?
Fluoroscopy is probably the most commonly used method to assess lead aprons for damage or defects. The easiest way to check a lead apron on a fluoroscopy unit is to place the lead apron on the x-ray table and either move the fluoro unit over the apron or move the table with the lead apron on it. Since modern fluoroscopy equipment is equipped with automatic brightness control, the techniques (kVp and milliamps [mA]) will adjust automatically based on the density (lead thickness) of the apron. When the apron is tested under live fluoroscopy, there will not be a photospot image unless you take one of any particular area of the apron.
Kennith "Duke" Lovins, CHP
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