Radiation Safety Glasses need to be well cared for and properly maintained as the leaded radiation protecting lenses are fragile.
Radiation Glasses glasses are intended to be used for reduction of scatter radiation from X-rays used in the medical environment. Protecting eyes of medical professionals should never be compromised, it is an imperative aspect of overall workplace safety. In the health care industry exposure to both ionising radiation and ultraviolet radiation is a daily possibility, which carries with health risks to some staff.
The primary steps towards radiation safety include:
- Making available the required equipment for workplace maintenance and
- General eye care, such as saline and adequate wash stations.
The best preventative step is incorporating protective glasses into daily routines.
Whether it is radiation safety glasses or prescription reading eyewear, the lenses are always the most important, functional and valued part of any glasses. In the medical industry functionality and comfort are important for undertaking a safe and productive day’s work. Dirty or smudged lenses are undesirable but also inevitable, so when cleaning them extra care should be taken. Especially Radiation Safety Glasses need to be well cared for and properly maintained as the leaded radiation protecting lenses are fragile.
1. Cleaning & Disinfecting your Lead Glasses - Strictly follow the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer
Radiation Glasses cannot be disinfected in a pressure chamber (autoclave) as it harms the leaded glass, which is very fragile, and the frame material, which is usually made of plastic. Ammonia or chlorine-based cleaners are also not recommended for the same reasons. Manufacturers do not recommend to use circular motions while cleaning as it can damage applied coatings, such as Anti-Fog coating to reduce fogging or anti-reflective coating to minimise glare. Depending on what coatings are applied to the leaded lenses, different cleaning instructions apply in order for the coatings to last as long as possible (not to loose its functionality).
For uncoated lenses: Clean with anti-bacterial detergent or hand soap with no micro-beads or grit added. Gently rub lenses in straight lines under clear running water. Dry with a soft microfibre cloth. Commercially available alcohol-based lens wipes are also acceptable.
If Anti-Fog coating is applied: Always clean with a 75%-80% alcohol. Commercially available alcohol-based lens wipes are acceptable. Use a light pressure in straight lines thoroughly cleaning all surfaces of lenses and frames. Dry with microfibre cleaning cloth. After repeated cleanings, it is recommended to rejuvenate the Anti-Fog coating with an Anti-Fog Spray, drops or wipes.
If Anti-Reflective Coating is applied: Do NOT use alcohol, it will degrade the anti-reflective coating. It is best to use an anti-bacterial detergent or hand soap with no microbeads or grit added. Gently rub lenses and frames in straight lines under clear running water. Dry with a soft microfibre cloth.
Do not use anything such as clothing, tissues or paper towel as convenient as it may seem at the time.
2. Never place lead glasses on top of your head
The leaded lenses of radiation glasses are usually heavier and more fragile than general prescription eyewear. Subconsciously, moving them to the top of your head or above other medical headwear largely increases the risk of them falling and breaking. It can also stretch out the arms, misaligning the protective components and generally meaning a less secure fit over time.
It is also tempting to wear the radiation glasses around your neck with an adjustable strap when briefly not in use. However, due to the heavier weight of the x-ray glasses, it is quite possible that the strap cannot hold the lead glasses for a long time. The x-ray glasses may fall and break.
When your radiation glasses are not in use, the safest and best spot to store your x-ray glasses is in the provided protective hard case. Normal room temperature and low relative humidity is ideal.
3. Take care when adjusting the position of your lead glasses
Radiation Safety Glasses come in a variety of fits, sizes, colours, designs and shapes. Despite this it is important to always be consistent with adjusting them manually once they are in position on the face. Rather than using the bridge to push them back into a more comfortable location, the upper and lower parts of the frame should be held with the pointer finger and thumb, providing complete control and a low risk of dropping them entirely.
4. Always be extra careful when removing lead glasses
Because lead glasses are slightly heavier than traditional reading glasses you should always use two hands when taking them from the face. This will allow for a smooth removal which keep everything balanced and aligned including the side shields if installed. Using the one hand may work fine for other eyewear but it is strongly discouraged for radiation glasses, even if this proves to be a difficult habit to break.
5. Accessories - Be prepared to properly care for your lead glasses
Ensuring that you always have appropriate accessories available is an important part of caring for your lead glasses. Having the correctly sized protective case and a suitable repair kit available for all relevant staff can help prolong the life and effectiveness of everyone’s radiation eyewear. As mentioned above, proper cleaning of the glasses is important as is storing them in a case when they are not being used. This along with fixing any concerns with the frames or structure of the glasses if possible, will mean they are always at their best.
6. Storage - Always Store Your Lead Glasses in the Provided Protected Glasses Case.
Your X-Ray Glasses should always be store in the provided hard case when not in use. Normal room temperature and low relative humidity is ideal.
7. Maintenance - Inspect Your Lead Glasses Frequently
Your Radiation Glasses can last a long time, assuming you care for them properly. It is also recommended to examine your lead glasses frequently as leaded lenses can become pitted, chipped or in other ways damaged. If that is the case, cease use immediately and contact your radiation safety officer at the hospital for instructions.
Wearing radiation glasses is a beneficial and scientifically proven process for health care facilities across Australia in today’s age. The correct protection can represent a significant financial investment for some employers, however this is insignificant when compared to ensuring their staff are safe. Properly looking after personal protective equipment like lead glasses will properly look after professional people that work amidst radiation.