It is not uncommon for medical facilities, doctors’ clinics and even dental offices to use X-ray and imaging technology. In some of these applications the amount of radiation produced is very low, so simple radiation shielding for the patient and the technician is all that is required for safe use.
In other situations, including when more advanced X-ray systems are in place or when radioactive material is stored for other treatment uses, a more comprehensive option in shielding the room or storing the material may be required.
A product that is very versatile and can be used in the construction of these types of rooms in dental and healthcare facilities is lead lined gypsum board. There are different thicknesses of the lead possible, creating the protective shielding required given the type of equipment in use and other relevant factors.
Choosing the Right Material
Care must be taken to ensure the correct thickness of lead lined gypsum board is selected for the specific room. It is also recommended to develop a plan for installing the gypsum board on the walls and ceiling or another area of the room with as few joins as possible.
Joins are the weakest area for radiation shielding. The top types of lead lined gypsum board come with a lip of at least an inch, ensuring the lead shielding is behind the area of the join to provide an overlap and complete protection.
Standard sizes of gypsum board with lead lining include 4 X 8, 4 X 9, 4 X 10 and 4 X 12 feet. The thickness of the lead on any of these sizes can range from just 11/32 of an inch to up to and 1/8 of an inch. The greater thickness of lead required for additional radiation protection can be provided by lead sheet, plating or bricks.
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