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Lead-Free Aprons Offer Alternative Radiation Shielding

By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 19 Mar 2018
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Image: The NanoTek x-ray apron uses polymers instead of lead (Photo courtesy of Artemis Shielding).
Image: The NanoTek x-ray apron uses polymers instead of lead (Photo courtesy of Artemis Shielding).
Aprons made of thermoplastic polymer alloys and high atomic number elements can provide a highly effective barrier to x-ray radiation.

The Artemis Shielding (Ft. Payne, AL, USA) NanoTek x-ray apron is a unisex front protection apron made of non-toxic, lead-free, and cost-effective thermoplastic polymer alloys bound to various dispersed high atomic number elements with readily accessible outer shell electrons to deliver highly efficient attenuated shielding products. As a result, NanoTek x-ray apron aprons weigh about 50% lighter than their lead counterparts. An added advantage is that the aprons are machine washable after the inner core is removed by unzipping the bottom of the apron, which is reinserted once the apron housing is dry.

NanoTek x-ray aprons are available in three protection levels: 80, 100, and 120 kVp; three colors: red, gray, and blue; and four sizes. In addition to aprons, Artemis Shielding also provides highly effective lead-free products such as x-ray curtains and mobile barriers, and custom solutions for a range of end use applications in industrial, medical, dental, neutron, and experimental facilities. The patented material can be extruded, injection molded, cast, or blow molded to fit almost any length or shape, and also eliminates the needs for special crews or equipment for safe handling, as in lead.

“Medical professionals across the world leave their careers prematurely due to pain and disability brought on from years of wearing heavy lead vests. The world needs more doctors and nurses, not fewer,” said Joe Priest, a retired U.S. Special Forces medic and COO of Artemis Shielding. “We can greatly prolong and enhance their work life by providing them a low-cost apron that is significantly lighter than lead and shields just as well.”

“There is just no place for lead in a hospital, but unfortunately there was no economical alternative, until now. Our mission is to eliminate lead and reduce radiation exposure in the hospital environment,” concluded Mr. Priest. “Our products work as good or better than lead. They can be about fifty percent lighter and thinner depending on the application, and we are zeroing in on being as affordable. When you account for the installation and disposal costs of lead, it is no contest.”

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