Radiation Protection Gloves in Healthcare Settings

September 26, 2023

radiation protection glovesRadiation exposure is a constant occupational hazard in the healthcare industry, particularly for healthcare workers in imaging or surgical settings who are exposed to ionizing radiation routinely. The hands are particularly sensitive to radiation, so it is imperative that healthcare workers wear protective gloves during any exposure. In this article, we will discuss the importance of radiation protection gloves, the different types, and their effectiveness against radiation exposure.  

Why Are Radiation Protection Gloves Important?

The human hand is among the most sensitive parts of the body to the harmful effects of ionizing radiation and is often subjected to more exposure than other parts of the body in healthcare settings. Therefore, radiation protection gloves are a crucial component of personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals who work with radioactive materials, fluoroscopy, or nuclear medicine.  

Types of Radiation Protection Gloves

When it comes to the different types of radiation protection gloves, thickness is the biggest factor. Thinner attenuation gloves are used for scatter radiation protection during precision work in fluoroscopy, cardiac cath lab, and electrophysiology lab procedures where dexterity is paramount. These gloves are single-use and are sterile right out of the package.  

Thicker, bulkier gloves are reusable but are not designed for precision work. Many of these types of gloves offer additional protection—Wolf™ Superflex Protective Gloves, for example, are available in longer lengths that protect the forearm as well as the hand against harmful radiation.

Effectiveness of Radiation Protection Gloves 

The effectiveness of radiation protection gloves is dependent on the lead or lead-equivalent thickness of the glove. Thicker gloves offer higher radiation attenuation to better protect the user from radiation exposure. In fact, studies have shown that radiation protection gloves can reduce radiation exposure by up to 70% when worn properly. 

Tactile Sensitivity of Radiation Protection Gloves

Maintaining dexterity and tactile sentitivity while wearing radiation protection gloves is extremely important, as it allows medical professionals to perform necessary tasks with precision while still protecting themselves from harmful radiation exposure.  

AliMed® AliGuard Radiation Attenuation Gloves offer the latest in glove technology for superior radiation protection while maintaining tactile sensitivity and dexterity. Thin, finely textured grip promotes advanced tactile sensitivity, and anatomically correct curved fingers offer reduced fatigue. These gloves are made of lead-free tungsten with no harmful chemicals or harsh skin irritants such as powder and latex for complete hand protection. 

Radiation protection gloves are an essential component of personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals working with radioactive materials, fluoroscopy, or nuclear medicine. Assessing the amount of radiation exposure and the level of dexterity needed are critical when selecting the right radiation protection gloves to provide adequate protection.   

Want to learn more? Visit AliMed’s Radiation Protection Hub for additional resources and solutions to help protect both staff and patients from radiation exposure. 


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.

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