The Truth About Lead Aprons During Pregnancy

Patients who are pregnant and must undergo a radiology procedure commonly have to wear a lead apron for pregnancy, and concerns about whether lead aprons offer enough protection for their babies. Medical professionals who are pregnant have similar questions about the equipment they wear and want to be sure they have the most effective tools to protect their unborn children from harmful radiation.

Do lead aprons provide sufficient radiation protection for babies in the womb?

Lead aprons provide plenty of protection for you and the fetus from exposure to scatter and leakage radiation from all types of routine procedures. Commercially available lead aprons must attenuate X-ray beams at least 95%. In theory, up to 5% of the X-rays could penetrate the apron, but the reality is that most modern aprons do a significantly better job than that.

What are the potential risks of using lead aprons while pregnant?

While overexposure to radiation is highly unlikely, damaged or cracked X-ray aprons have a high risk of exposing the wearer to lead dust, which can cause serious health problems when ingested. Nobody should use damaged lead aprons, but the risks they pose to a pregnant wearer are especially significant. Exposure to high levels of lead before and during pregnancy can cause:

  • Fertility problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Underdevelopment of the baby’s brain and nervous system
  • Premature birth, before 37 weeks of pregnancy
  • Low birth weight, under 5 pounds, 8 ounces
  • Miscarriage

What lead-free options are available?

If you want to eliminate the chance of exposure to lead for medical practitioners and patients who are pregnant, Xenolite is the ideal material for your X-ray protection garments. Xenolite offers advanced radiation protection and sets a new standard for lightweight and safe garments. With a combination of attenuating elements such as antimony, tungsten, and bismuth, Xenolite aprons are safe for wearers and their children and trusted in professional settings worldwide.

Xenolite aprons are made with a patented flex-crack resistant materials that are environmentally friendly while offering unparalleled lightweight X-ray protection, with many customizable styles and options to ensure maximum protection and comfort for mother and child at any stage of pregnancy. Xenolite maintains PPE certificates, FDA certificates, complies with (EU) 2016/425 regulations, and meets all required global standards and regulations to keep you safe.

Xenolite lead-free aprons can be tailored to your unique needs, including sizing adjustments for lengths and armholes, colors, fabrics, logos, and monograms. Xenolite aprons come in 28 patterns, 22 solid colors, seven ripstop colors, and nine cleanable colors. With proper care, Xenolite aprons can last over six years, outperforming any competing apron materials.

Where can I buy Xenolite lead-free X-ray aprons?

Download the catalog and call Lite Tech at 800-647-5483, or shop online. All Xenolite garments include a three-year warranty covering workmanship and defects in core materials. Discounts are available for bulk orders.

Are Xenolite aprons easy to care for?

Yes – Xenolite aprons are best stored on regular hangars. When traveling, Xenolite aprons may be rolled and transported in a Xenolite carry bag. Most dirt- and water-soluble stains can be wiped from Xenolite aprons, vests, and skirts with mild soapy cold water. For more details on cleaning dos and don’ts, visit the Lite Tech Apron Care page.

Have other questions about X-ray apron safety? Curious about more advantages of switching to lead-free materials? Want to talk about placing a bulk order for your office? Whatever you need, Lite Tech is here to help you. Contact us today for dependable, expert service.