In our daily lives, we all are exposed to some extent to radiation from various natural sources. They are essentially not harmless, but the impact of direct and regular exposure to x-ray is concerning. While the radiological impact of x-rays is a well-known issue, professionals’ hands are among the most vulnerable. In this case, lead gloves are considered the best defense against the harm of radiation.
The threat of radiations on your hand
Direct radiation exposure is highly dangerous for the human body. Even a low dose of exposure for a longer period can lead to serious outcomes. X-ray radiation can damage not only the cell but also the DNA, RNA, and even the body proteins.
It is with high concern that cellular damage caused by radiation can create further serious health issues. For example, high radiation exposure might create diseases like cancer later in the life of a person who was in a radiological facility for years. Furthermore, it is also necessary to understand that as the effects are generally not apparent immediately after the exposure, the consequence may be overlooked.
Considering the effect of x-ray radiation, both the United States Government and the World Health Organization classified X-rays as a carcinogen (a substance that can create cancer).
X-ray unit professionals need to use their hands frequently for various operating purposes. For that reason, hands are the most closely exposed body parts to the x-ray radiation beam. Thus, it makes hands highly vulnerable to negative outcomes.
Though the benefits of x-ray outweigh the negative effects of radiation, only having proper defense can ensure your safety.
How lead gloves protect your hand
Lead gloves are specially designed to negate the intensity of x-ray radiation before reaching your hands and keep them protected. To simply state, leaded gloves work as a shield against radiation. Lead shielding is a proven method for radiation protection. When you wear these gloves, the radiation cannot penetrate with all the energy. Generally, the leaded shield scatters and absorbs most of the radiation before letting the safe amount of it pass through. So, while you need to protect your whole body wearing a lead apron, you should also wear leaded gloves to keep your hands safe.
Lead Gloves vs. Lead Cream: a short note
When looking for options to protect your hand, you might hear about lead creams. But is it able to ensure enough protection? The companies that produce lead creams may claim cream’s efficiency. But the efficiency of the cream is not up to the mark always. Also, there is a risk that the cream can be rubbed off and leave open space. Again, in the case of cream, it is necessary to ensure that the entire skin surface is covered, which is not easy all the time.
On the contrary, wearing gloves can keep you worry-free about the abovementioned issues. Furthermore, the efficiency of leaded glasses is tested and established.
Things to consider when choosing lead gloves
As ensuring safety is your main goal while working in a radiological facility, there are some other important factors to consider to buy the right pair for your hands. So, for the best but keep the following facts in your mind-
Safety level: First things first, you need to be sure that the gloves ensure the necessary lead equivalence to prevent radiation. Generally, a thickness of .35 mm or above should work for most fluoroscopic procedures.
Comfortable: During an x-ray imaging procedure, you are required to handle various tasks. It is important that the gloves do not essentially make it harder to move your hands and fingers. That being said, you may not be comfortable with bulky gloves. So, you should opt-out for a pair of gloves that is safe and easy to operate with as well.
Sterile: Because you use lead gloves inside a clinic or medical facility, they should be sterile for safety reasons. Again, you cannot compromise the material quality. As the gloves will come in contact more frequently with the machines and other objects, it will be necessary to make them germ-free. A good pair of gloves should be easy to re-sterile.