Last updated on June 19th, 2020.
X-ray aprons are effective in protecting the body from damaging radiation, but they are also delicate because they need to be handled properly to preserve their condition. In line with that, we have provided some guidelines on proper x-ray apron care and maintenance.
- Get the proper kind and fit of apron. These are only useful if they adequately cover the body parts that will be exposed to or come into contact with the radiation. A professional usually helps you in choosing an apron, but if in case they fail to notice that the apron does not fit well, inform them about it. This should be done especially if you are pregnant, have large breasts, or are overweight.
- Refrain from stretching the apron or sitting down on it while it is taut; otherwise, this might result in breakage. Procedures that involve the x-ray aprons are usually done while standing up. If you need to sit or lie down while wearing the apron, you need to wear one that is designed for both sitting and reclining positions.
- Do not wad your apron as this might create bulges that will cause the material to be deformed. The apron must be protected from being stretched or pulled to maintain its integrity.
Storing X-ray aprons
- These aprons need to be protected. As such, it is highly discouraged to fold them or make creases on the material.
- Do not drape aprons over furniture or equipment that is not designated for apron storage as doing so may cause creases to form in the lead lining of the apron. Other than that, the apron may damage the object upon which it is draped.
- Do not hang the apron on any kind of hook to avoid denting or piercing it. I use a heavy duty chrome rack for this purpose as it helps make sure the apron does not get damaged. Wrapping it over a towel bar is also recommended.
- Velcro must be attached properly to avoid making marks upon the fabric or tearing it apart. When storing the apron, ensure that the Velcro is closed.
Cleaning X-ray aprons
- The aprons must be kept away from excessive heat and pressure. Because of this, they are not autoclaved. Stains should be cleaned by wiping them off as soon as it’s possible to do so. I clean apron stains using cold water and a mild detergent or cleanser if the stain can’t be removed by wiping alone.
- When the materials of radiation aprons are exposed to other substances, chemical reactions might occur. Hence, never use bleach when cleaning them. Do not dry-clean them either since dry cleaning makes use of solvents that may not be good for the fabric.
- Aprons must be handled carefully; thus, machine laundering is not recommended for them.
- Aprons are ideally cleaned every day and scrubbed gently with a soft brush that is approved for cleaning the apron. Take care not to scrub at the aprons too harshly. Remove the residue by rinsing with clean and cool water. Do not soak the apron but let running water flow over it.
Check for Deformities and Defects
Aprons need to be checked for cracks and holes in their lining to avoid radiation leakage into the users’ bodies. You should do this at least once a year, but it is better if you can do it more regularly. A radiograph or fluoroscope is best used for this purpose. Gaps that are detected on the material must not exceed 10 cm2 in total. In the thyroid region, a hole must not be bigger than 1 cm2, while in the reproductive region, it must not surpass 0.2 cm2. Because of the effects of cracks in aprons, they need to be carefully worn, handled, and stored. .
X-ray aprons contain lead, which is a toxic substance. They must thus be disposed of safely in the appropriate containers. Ask your local disposal service about what to do with discarded aprons. These aprons may be recycled as well; contact your local recycling center for assistance.
Personnel trained in handling radioactive equipment will have extensive knowledge on how to work with these aprons. Keep a radiation specialist nearby so that you will be guided on what to do. It will also be helpful if you read manuals and brochures that explain the radiation procedures and protective devices.
Because care and maintenance will only be as good as the original condition of the aprons, it’s best to buy high quality aprons right from the start. If you want to get reliable x-ray aprons and other radiation protection equipment, source them from trusted sellers such as Kemper Medical.