Vector X

VECTOR X –

The lightest and safest apron protection material that conforms with Australian/ New Zealand and all major global standards; IEC 61331-3:2014, ASTM F2547 and DIN 6867-2. Tested and certified against a full range of radiation qualities; 50 to 150 kVp.

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What is VECTOR X?

  • Deutsch Medical presents VECTOR X – a new light radiation protection material using a true bilayer construction of lead, antimony and bismuth. Vector X is as light as lead free materials and it meets higher safety requirements demanded by the new international standard IEC 61331-3:2014. See further details below.
  • VECTOR X was specifically developed by the German manufacturer Medical Index to conform to the newer standards and requirements. VECTOR X takes advantage of the physics associated with using individual layers of specific materials to provide maximum attenuation by eliminating the effects of fluorescence and scatter radiation with the low atomic weight metals used in lead free or lead reduced composites.
  • VECTOR X is tested and certified for attenuation and lead equivalence by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) against a full range of radiation qualities – 50 kV to 150 kV using the broad beam geometry method. The edge bilayer performs in accordance with all major global standards, including the new IEC 61331-3:2014 and the German Standard DIN 6857-2.

 

 

No other lead free or lead reduced material than VECTOR X passes IEC 61331-3:2014, DIN 6867-2 and ASTM F2547 at a lower weight 

  1. VECTOR X passes all major global standards, including IEC 61331-3:2014
  2. The only radiation protection core material using true bilayer construction
  3. The only low lead radiation protection material designed to provide increased protection against scatter radiation and absorbed dose independently certified between 50 kV and 150 kV.
  4. Soft and subtle while retaining tensile strength of traditional products.

Independent tests demonstrate the technical advantages of VECTOR X in terms of safety, weight and comfort. It enables protective aprons and accessories to provide up to 20% reduction in absorbed dose than other brands’ lead composite materials, and 40% better performance than lead free alternatives at comparable lead equivalence.

There is a problem with tradition lead free and lead composite products containing low atomic weight metals, either exclusively or in a mixed metal composite. Simply put, they cannot match the performance of traditional lead products, due to the K-edge effect and resulting fluorescence at key levels of keV. Testing reveals that these materials can only pass previous standards when tested between 80kV and 100kV using narrow beam geometry. At higher or lower tube voltages the requirements of IEC 61331-3: 2014 are largely not met.

THE RESULT? INCREASED LEVELS OF ABSORBED DOSE RECEIVED BY SKIN AND ORGANS THAT DELIVER A REAL, LASTING AND CAREER-LIMITED IMPACT ON MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS. 

VECTOR X is designed to and for new standards, superior in concept, design and performance to deliver the highest safety and comfort. Vector X is the moste complete and advanced form of radiation protection.

What does the new standard IEC 61331-3:2014 mean?

Radiation Aprons are classified as protective clothing that acts as radiation shields to provide a defined level of protection from x-rays during medical imaging procedures that uses x-rays (e.g. radiography, fluoroscopy, computed tomography). Traditionally, aprons were made of lead. Therefore, the protection levels have been determined in terms of lead thickness that provides lead equivalent attenuation of x-rays, e.g. 0.50mm lead equivalence (Pb).
Due to the  significant weight increase of x-ray aprons using pure lead, occupational health and safety risks to the medical staff have been on the rise. As a consequence the protection materials of aprons have evolved to use lead-reduced or lead-free materials in order to reduce their weight. However, concerns arise regarding the safety and labelling accuracy. accuracy. 

Until recently, apron materials (such as lead) were tested for lead equivalent attenuation of x-rays using a narrow beam attenuation set up, which is explained in IEC 61331-1 Edition 2.0 or ASTM F2547-06 (2013). This test can be relatively easy executed and repeated by any radiation safety officer, manufacturers and testing laboratories to achieve the same result on any apron protection material.

However, the attenuation measurements in the narrow beam does not take the scattered radiation and fluorescence into account due to the arrangements of test. Therefore, the protective effect of lead-free materials will be misestimated when compared to pure lead.

As a result, some countries – including Germany – have begun requiring that a new test has to be developed that considers the different characteristics of lead reduced/ lead free protection materials and includes the radiation scatter as well as fluorescence. 

The new testing method is using an inverse broad beam attenuation set up, detailed in the new international standard IEC 61331-1: 2014 and IEC 61331-3:2014 as well as ASTM 3094-14:

  • Protective aprons have to be tested and certified “by the inverse broad beam geometry method for the SPECIFIED range of RADIATION QUALITIES, 50kV, 70 kV, 90kV, and 110 kV”.
  • Additionally, when aprons are worn for radiological examinations where there is exposure to higher energy radiation, greater than 125 kV, for example in “in-room CT assist” procedures, protective aprons should also meet the lead equivalent values for radiation quality 150kV.

Over time materials – lead, lead free, lead reduced composites – and methods – narrow beam/ broad beam – have been tested and compared.

  • There is a problem with tradition lead free and lead composite products containing low atomic weight metals, either exclusively or in a mixed metal composite. Simply put, they cannot match the performance of traditional lead products, due to the K-edge effect and resulting fluorescence at key levels of keV.
  • The measurements in the narrow beam according to IEC 61331-1: 2014 revealed that nearly all commercial available lead, lead free and lead reduced aprons only achieve the required lead equivalence at mid range tube voltages  of 80- 100 kV.
  • At higher or lower tube voltages the requirements of IEC 61331-3: 2014 are largely not met.
  • On the contrary, the testing of the same aprons in inverse broad beam geometry according to DIN 6857-1 demonstrated that only a few meet the required lead equivalence for radiation qualities from 50 KV to 150 kV.*

THE RESULT? INCREASED LEVELS OF ABSORBED DOSE RECEIVED BY SKIN AND ORGANS THAT DELIVER A REAL, LASTING AND CAREER-LIMITED IMPACT ON MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS.  In summary, most of the lead free apron should be used with care, particularly for examinations with high dose, e.g in Cath Labs and CT rooms.

As a result, the German manufacturer Medical Index developed a new technology – VECTOR X – which is specifically developed to conform to these newer safety standards.

  • VECTOR X is designed to and for new standards, superior in concept, design and performance to deliver the highest safety and comfort.
  • To date, only Vector X is tested and certified for attenuation and lead equivalence by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) against a full range of radiation qualities – 50 kV to 150 kV using the broad beam geometry method.
  • The edge bilayer performs in accordance with all major global standards, including the new IEC 61331-3:2014 and the German Standard DIN 6857-1 – at a lower weight.

 

*Citations: Pichler T, et al. Rofo 2011, “Radiation protection clothing in X-ray diagnostics: comparison of attentuation equivalents in narrow beam and inverse broad beam geometry”

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