2022 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Effectiveness of Lead Gloves and Eyewear at Decreasing Dose to Medical Professionals

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Natalie Mourant


Lead aprons are consistently used more than lead gloves or eyewear by medical professionals when attempting to protect themselves from scatter radiation. Fluoroscopy (live x-ray) is one of the most common imaging processes used in healthcare to provide diagnostic images. This study researched how effective lead glasses and gloves are at reducing occupational dose to medical professionals from scatter radiation during fluoroscopic procedures. The lens of the eye is at high risk for radiation damage due to the fact that it is very sensitive to radiation. Damage from radiation may result in cataracts and vision loss. Lead gloves were investigated due to the physician's hands being one of the most common body parts that comes in close proximity to the primary x-ray beam. The damage caused from each procedure accumulates over time and more severe effects may occur such as cell death, genetic mutations, or cancer. The effects of different distances from the primary beam with and without the use of lead were investigated in the radiology lab of a higher education facility. The C-arm (continuous x-ray machine) located in the lab was used and each position was tested ten times while using a shoulder phantom in the primary beam. A phantom is an artificial replication tool of a human body part. The radiation exposure time was approximated at one second per exposure. The exposure factors changed throughout the procedure due to the automated exposure control (AEC) on the C-arm. The results showed that lead gloves and eyewear slightly decreased radiation exposure from scatter radiation and should be used if possible.

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