Answer to Question #8624 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Medical and Dental Equipment/Shielding — Shielding

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:

I was wondering about lead screws. I know that when you build a room and they use lead in the walls they also use lead screws for that. If you are hanging things on the walls after sheetrock and it will go through the lead do you need to use lead screws also for that? Thank you for your time.


According to NCRP Report No. 147, "… insertion of the nails or screws does not result in significant radiation leaks …" They are referring to fasteners used to install lead-lined drywall; however, it would be the same if you used similar fasteners for things such as hangers. Lead caps are, therefore, not needed.

Ken "Duke" Lovins, CHP

National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. Structural shielding design for medical x-ray imaging facilities. Bethesda, MD: NCRP; NCRP Report No. 147; 2004.

Answer posted on 29 October 2009. The information posted on this web page is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may affect the applicability of concepts, materials, and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice. To the best of our knowledge, answers are correct at the time they are posted. Be advised that over time, requirements could change, new data could be made available, and Internet links could change, affecting the correctness of the answers. Answers are the professional opinions of the expert responding to each question; they do not necessarily represent the position of the Health Physics Society.