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What Makes Lead Good For Radiation Shielding

For those who work in nuclear power plants, perform particle accelerator work or operate medical x-ray systems, the fear of radiation poisoning continues to be very real. However, today, preventing this from occurring is the priority of employers around the globe. Preserving humans from harm by ensuring the safe operation of all equipment is a priority. They install various types of radiation shielding to provide the optimal degree of protection.

Radiation Shielding and Lead

Shielding is a means of protecting employees and sensitive equipment against the negative forces of radiation. Lead is a preferred material for several reasons. This metal is ideal for use as a protective shield against radiation because of several properties. It:

  • Has a high molecular density. This is 11.34 grams per cubic centimeter
  • Possesses a great degree of flexibility regarding its application
  • Is extremely stable
  • Has a high atomic number. Lead ranks at 82 higher than other shielding alternatives such as thallium, silver, and gold
  • Is readily available in many forms (including lead-lined types), e.g. bricks, drywall, foil, pipes, plywood, powder, sheet, shot. This makes it ideal for consideration when constructing items as diverse as a simple vest and a building complex
  • Is less expensive than other shielding alternatives such as silver and gold
  • Is less toxic than several other shielding substances, e.g. bismuth, thallium

These properties combine to make lead shielding one of the most effective means of safeguarding people and devices against radiation. In fact, it remains the standard for radiation shielding designs.

Lead Radiation Shielding

When considering the safety of workers and the protection of sensitive equipment, conscientious companies put into place diverse protective devices. When it comes to working with harmful gamma and x-rays, the solution is lead radiation shielding. By employing a lead defensive apparatus, employers ensure the safeguard of employees and equipment alike.

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