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Journal of Radiography & Radiation Sciences

2010;  (v 24): 1-7


An Assessment of the Lead rubber aprons in Radiodiagnostic centres in South-South Nigeria

E. V. Ukpong, D. U. Eduwem, I. Efanga, E. Esien-Umo, N. A. James.

Copyright © 2017 The Association Of Radiographers Of Nigeria. All Rights Reserved.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

Background of Study: Radiation protection is of core importance in radiodiagnostic centres, to keep both patients care givers and staff of the centres from stochastic and non- stochastic effects of radiation. The
effectiveness and protectiveness of aprons are of valuable importance, it is therefore necessary to assess these aprons to ensure efficacy. Such quality checks have not been reported in the South – South region of Nigeria.

Aim: To assess in terms of their quality and therefore protective features, the lead aprons in used radiology clinics in the South-South region of Nigeria.

Method: Twenty two protective lead aprons from 18 radiological clinics in South-South Nigeria were directly exposed to X-rays with average factors of 70 ± 5kVp, 16 mAs and 100 cm Source to apron distance, with 43 x 35 cm cassettes places underneath to cover the upper (thoracic half) and the lower (abdominal half) respectively. Exposed films were processed in each centre following regular processing protocols to obtain radiographs with images of the state of the aprons. The images were analyzed on the basis of each apron’s
lead equivalence (content), age, brand and the type of defects observed. Defects were characterized into cracks, tears, splits and rips. Physical examination for cleanliness, wear and tear was also carried out.

Results: Results showed that 68% of all the aprons under study were defective, having cracks (44%), tears (33%), splits (15%) and/or rips (8%). About 73 % of the defective aprons had more than one (1) type of defect. Up to 87% of the defective aprons had no inherent lead equivalence and manufacturer identification indicated on them. It was observed that about 73% of these defects occurred in aprons of aged between 1-10 years with the area affected in the range of 1.00 – 1000.00 mm2

Conclusion: Over two-thirds (⅔) of lead aprons found in diagnostic radiology centres in South – South Nigeria, have shown sufficient evidence of defects to suggest that they may not be useful for radiation protection of the users.

Keywords: Lead apron, defect, radiation, protection, faults, radiology centre

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