Radiation Protection Equipment Buyer’s Guide

October 31, 2023

radiation protection equipmentRadiation exposure can be a major concern for healthcare professionals who work with radiation sources on a regular basis. Radiation protection equipment includes a range of devices and equipment that help minimize exposure levels. This basic buying guide is designed to help you make an informed decision when buying equipment for protection against harmful radiation.  

Types of PPE for Radiation Protection

There are four main types of personal protective equipment for radiation protection, all of which have some level of lead or lead-equivalent protection.  

  • Shields and barriers are used to block radiation from bouncing back onto the healthcare professional. Mobile X-ray barriers offer flexibility and can be moved around to provide protection wherever it's needed. They often include a clear viewing window made from lead glass or other radiation-attenuating materials, allowing technicians to safely observe procedures.  
  • Garments, including aprons and thyroid shields, are wearable protective equipment designed to protect against secondary radiation. Aprons typically come in three styles: Frontal, Wraparound, or Vest and Skirt. These styles offer different levels of protection and comfort. Thyroid shields can often be purchased with an apron as a sewn-on or detachable component, or they can be purchased individually.  
  • Gloves are specially designed to protect the hands, with varying thicknesses depending on the type of procedure. Thinner attenuation gloves are recommended for precision work, as they maintain tactile sensitivity while still offering the necessary protection. When more coverage is needed, or precision is not a factor, bulkier gloves may be more suitable.  
  • Glasses and face shields protect the eyes and face and come in a variety of styles, weights, and materials. Radiation protection glasses are available with or without a prescription, as well as styles designed to fit over regular eyeglasses.

Factors to Consider While Buying Radiation Protective Gear

When buying radiation protective gear, it is important to determine the type of radiation source you will be working with. Different radiation sources produce different types and levels of radiation, so this will depend on the type of procedure being performed. 

Proper fit is also a factor when choosing radiation protection equipment. Barriers and shields should be sized to protect the at-risk area, whether it is a smaller shield portion of the body or a full-body barrier. Radiation protection garments and gloves should be comfortable to wear for long periods and should not interfere with your work. Similarly, eyewear and face shields should have the proper prescription or should be sized to fit over existing glasses as needed.

Ready to Learn More?

The following collection of articles provides a more in-depth look into each of these categories of radiation protection equipment as well as some more information about lead thickness, helping you make a more informed decision.  

Radiation protection equipment is an essential factor in ensuring healthcare professionals are safe while working with radiation sources. It is crucial to choose the right type of equipment that meets the necessary safety standards set by both your facility and the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). By adopting the right radiation protection methods and using the appropriate protective equipment, healthcare professionals can work safely while delivering top-quality care to their patients.  


AliMed, Inc. is a manufacturer and distributor of medical supply products, and is not a medical authority. The contents contained in this article, including text, graphics, imagery, and other materials, are for informational and educational purposes only. AliMed does not provide or intend to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and the information contained here should not be treated as such. If you have questions about a specific medical condition or specific personal use of a medical device, always consult your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

This blog was created with the assistance of artificial intelligence. Although every effort has been made to present information that is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, this content may contain omissions or errors. AliMed does not regularly update information or resources for this content and does not guarantee, make any warranties, and accepts no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information presented.