From dental practices to radiology offices to hospitals around the world, specialists who operate non-invasive diagnostic equipment must be diligent about protecting themselves and patients from radiation exposure. Lead and lead-free aprons offer complete protection to the user and make procedures extremely safe, but overused or damaged aprons pose a health risk to wearers and must be replaced ASAP. If that’s you, download our Guide: Choose the X-Ray Protection Apron That’s Right for You to find the ideal aprons for your unique needs right away.
If you’re not facing an immediate X-ray apron need, continue reading to better understand how often lead and lead-free X-ray aprons last and tips for inspecting wear.
How Long Do Lead X-Ray Aprons Last?
If given proper care, lead X-ray aprons typically last for up to 10 years before becoming too worn out to be safe. Most get replaced well before that, around five years, due to creases, cracks, holes, tears, and stains. Lead aprons are particularly susceptible to cracking and damage that allows radiation to pass through. Any lead apron that looks damaged or creased should be replaced. Immediately inspect any improperly folded lead aprons for damage.
Inspecting the Integrity of Lead X-Ray Aprons
X-ray aprons should be inspected annually or at manufacturer-recommendations intervals and never folded. Cracks in the lead layer can develop at folds, reducing the useful life of the apron. Routinely examine every apron in use for kinks, creases, or other irregularities that could affect performance. If your facility includes a fluoroscopic inspection station, you can more thoroughly examine your lead aprons by:
- Placing the X-ray apron on the fluoroscopy table
- Examine the entire apron using the fluoroscope
- Record the inspection results and replace any damaged aprons
How Long Do Lead-Free Xenolite X-Ray Aprons Last?
Like lead, lead-free Xenolite X-ray aprons last for years with proper care, but they go several steps further to improve weight, comfort, and everyday durability. Unlike lead aprons, Xenolite aprons resist cracks and kinks to ensure no radiation can pass through, dramatically reducing the risk of exposure and increasing the potential lifespan of each apron. Compared to lead, lead-free Xenolite X-ray aprons offer a variety of benefits, including:
- Superior abrasion resistance
- Increased flexibility
- High environmental stress-crack resistance
- Excellent radiation blocking efficiency
- Significantly increased product lifespan
Time to Replace Your X-Ray Aprons?
Whether you’re still using lead aprons or have moved to lead-free, it’s critical to replace damaged aprons as soon as possible to keep wearers protected from radiation and toxic lead particles. Xenolite lead-free X-ray aprons from Lite Tech offer up to 10x the durability of traditional vinyl-based aprons with shielding material that resists cracks and stands up to repeated flexing with ease.
Download our Guide: Choose the X-Ray Protection Apron That’s Right for You to determine which aprons would suit your needs the best. Choose from a wide range of styles and accessories for men and women, with customizable panels that ensure you get effective radiation protection with every use.