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Radiation Shielding 101 with MarShield


At MarShield we often get asked how much lead is needed to shield an application. That requirement should be calculated and determined by a certified professional radiation health physicist. What we can share is what a physicist will need to determine your shielding calculations. Below is a short sample of these Diagnostic Radiation Shielding Considerations.

• The end user must determine the output of the X-Ray machine (KvP). Usually, the higher the output of the machine, the higher the lead shielding requirement.

• The end user must determine the exposure per hour, day, week and year and the maximum patient exposure accumulated and projected from radiation exposure, as radiation is cumulative and unnecessary extra exposure can cause biological damage on the cellular level. Ensure you check with local governing health and safety laws and codes for current compliance requirements.

• All wall sections shall be calculated by your physicists in relation to the direction of the primary beam target (direction where it is aimed) and scatter or secondary radiation of the x-ray machine, as well as the floor or ceiling, if required.

• Radiation dissipates as the distance increases; usually the closer a partition is to the radiation / x-ray source, the higher the lead shielding needed.

• A critical and very important factor in your calculations is the amount of time (per day) a surrounding or adjoining room common to the x-ray room will be occupied and used by your personnel or public.

• Often a physicist will take into account the existing or the proposed construction materials used or to be used of the wall/partition or flooring material, as heavy density materials can attenuate (shield) radiation to a certain degree, such as concrete, steel, plaster, block or multiple layers of drywall.

We provide radiation shielding products to various commercial markets including nuclear, medical, veterinary, and dental as well as institutions and government bodies engaged in scientific research, military operations and national defense. Please visit to view our extensive product line.

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