What is a LEAD APRON? Why & When do I need to wear one?

slider1_imageWhat is a LEAD APRON?

A lead apron is a one- or two-piece protective garment/ gown that protects you from radiation/ x-rays. Lead aprons are basically classified as radiation protective clothing/ radiation protective apparel that you wear over the body in order to protect you from radiation/ x-rays.

Lead aprons are generally made of different protection materials – such as lead, lead-free and lead-reduced (or lead composites) that shield radiation/ x-rays from penetrating the body. Lead aprons are covered by a thin exterior layer, which is called fabric.

Lead aprons have different names in the medical industry. They can also be called:

  • x-ray apron/ x-ray gown/ x-ray garment
  • lead gown/ lead garment
  • leaded apron/ leaded gown/ leaded garment
  • radiation apron/ radiation gown/ radiation garment
  • radiation protection apron/ radiation protection apron/ radiation protection garment

Lead Aprons come in different styles to suit different medical imaging applications:

  • The front lead apron – a one-piece, backless lead apron providing only front protection from radiation/ x-rays
  • The double or wraparound lead apron – a one-piece, fully wrapped around apron providing front & back protection from radiation/ x-rays
  • The vest & skirt lead apron – a two-piece, fully wrapped around apron providing front & back protection from radiation/ x-rays


WHY and WHERE do I need to wear a lead apron?

Lead aprons are used in hospitals and other medical facilities to protect medical staff, patients, visitors and general public from radiation/ x-rays. Lead aprons basically act as radiation protection shields and minimise the radiation/ x-ray exposure of hospital staff and patients to vital organs & tissues that can be exposed to radiation/ x-rays during medical and diagnostic imaging procedures, such as fluoroscopy, computed tomography and radiography.

Lead aprons are mainly worn in operating theatres, catheter labs, radiology, medical imaging, dental and veterinary facilities.


Serious Health Risks

Lead aprons need to be worn during any medical imaging procedure to avoid serious health risks.

“Ionising radiation has sufficient energy to cause chemical changes in cells and damage them. Some cells may die or become abnormal, either temporarily or permanently. By damaging the genetic material (DNA) contained in the body’s cells, radiation can cause cancer. Fortunately, our bodies are extremely efficient at repairing cell damage. The extent of the damage to the cells depends upon the amount and duration of the exposure, as well as the organs exposed.” (https://www.epa.gov/radiation/radiation-health-effects, 26th of January 2017, United States Environmental Protection Agency)

The reproductive organs are the most important to be protected from radiation/ x-rays exposure. The genetic material (DNA) in sperm and egg cells can be significantly changed and/ or damaged. The thyroid is another organ that is vital to be protected from radiation/ x-ray exposure. The use of a thyroid lead shield or thyroid lead collar is essential to be used together with a lead apron.


Check out our lead apron range


Do you have any more questions or would like to learn more about Deutsch Medical’s radiation protection clothing, contact us via our details below, or by simply completing our request form below.

Deutsch Medical Pty Ltd
1/1 Lieber Grove
Melbourne (Carrum Downs) VIC 3201

1300 766 854

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