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Describe the Perspective Clothing That Should Be Worn for the Lab Staff Working in a Lab With Radioactive Elements

Describe the Perspective Clothing That Should Be Worn for the Lab Staff Working in a Lab With Radioactive Elements

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Published by: exjupiter on Apr 16, 2010
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1. Describe the perspective clothing that should be worn for the lab staff working in a lab with radioactive elements.
Radioactive elements can come from variety of source in laboratory andhospitals. The chemical, instruments and natural occurring radioactive elementsalways present in our daily lives. The types of radiation can either be x-ray, gammaray, alpha particles, beta particles and neutron. Therefore, it is important to wear aprotective gear when handling all this radiation to prevent damage or mutation on our cell that can cause diseases.Use of radiation shielding is highly effective in intercepting and reducingexposure from scattered radiation. The staff should realize radiation exposurereductions of more than 90 percent through the correct use of any of the followingshielding options. Shields are most effective when placed as near to the radiationscatter source as possible. One of the personal protective equipments is leadaprons. The lead aprons should be wearing when using x-ray on patient. It containslead and often other materials such as tin, tungsten, antimony or barium that protectthe body from radiation. These metals are homogeneously mixed with syntheticrubber or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Between two and five thin sheets of metal-impregnated rubber/PVC are placed between sheets of nylon fabric coated withurethane on the side against the lead-impregnated rubber/vinyl. The materials arecut into a pattern and sewn together to form the protective garment. Themanufacturers of these garments vary the number of sheets, the percentage of metal, the grade of rubber or PVC, and the mixture of metals to affect flexibility,durability, radiation absorption efficiency, and weight (cited from Reducing RadiationExposure). Although it is useful, the apron does not protect all the radiation. At least80% reduction is obtained when wearing the apron. The most common and newapron suggested for lab workers are two piece lead apron system because itprovides wrap-around protection and distribute the weight more evenly on the user.
 
The face also required protection from the radiation. A safety helmet (bumpcap) may be worn when wearing enclosed suits or hoods. Other part of facenecessary for protection is a respiratory. There are 2 categories of RespiratoryProtective Equipment with several subdivisions in each categoryI. Respirators purify the air by filtering out particulate materials such asdust or low concentrations of gas or vapour. The most common typesare:(A) filtering face piece respirators;(B) half mask respirators;(C) full face mask respirators; and(D) powered respirators fitted with a fan and filter(s) to supply air to a half mask, full face mask, visor, hood or helmet, blouse,half suit or full suit.II. Breathing equipment provides clean air or oxygen from an independent,uncontaminated source. The most common types are:(A) fresh air hose equipment,(B) constant flow compressed air equipment, and(C) breathing apparatus which includes full face masks and fullsuits supplied either from compressed air lines or self-contained cylinders of compressed air.
 
The eye also requires protection by wearing the Optically clear lead glassesthat can reduce the operator's eye exposure by 85-90% (Siefert 1996). However,due to the relatively high threshold for cataract development, leaded glasses are onlyrecommended for personnel with very high fluoroscopy workloads (e.g., busyRadiology and Cardiology Interventionists). If there is any potential for the eyes andface to be exposed to UV radiation, a polycarbonate face shield stamped with the ANSI Z87.1-1989 UV certification must be worn to protect the eyes and face.Ordinary prescription eyeglasses may not block UV radiation.Gloves should be selected to provide the necessary protection while allowingsufficient dexterity. A lightweight polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or thin natural rubber latex(NRL) surgeon¶s glove may be suitable for laboratory use where maximum sensitivityand flexibility and a good grip are necessary for accurate work. Wear disposablenitrile gloves to protect exposed skin on the hands. The latex leaded gloves also canbe used to protect the hand. Standard (0.5 mm lead equivalent) leaded glovesprovide useful protection to the user¶s hands. However, the disadvantages of usingleaded gloves include loss in tactile feel, increased encumbrance and sterility.Ensure wrists and forearms are covered between the tops of gloves and the bottomof the lab coat sleeves. Wrist also can be protected towards radiation by wearingElasticated sleeves that can be pull down over the gloves to prevent radiation toexposed area. If contaminated, skin should be wash immediately.Other parts of body that require protection is foot. Always wear a closedfootware when handling radioactive materials. The footware can either beovershoes, µbooties¶, shoes and boots. Overshoes footware allow personal footwear to be worn in areas where there is a risk of a minor spill or drips contaminating thefloor. The advantages of overshoes is disposable, single size, foot shaped plasticbags with elasticised openings. More expensive and durable but possibly lesseffective are outsized plastic shoes. These do not fully cover the personal footwear and may not provide a tight fit over it, especially over heels. Fabric overshoes withhard soles and booties and fabric overshoes with legging supported at the knee byelastic or drawstrings provide further inexpensive options. Rubber, rather thanleather, safety boots may be preferred to facilitate decontamination or to carry outwet work.

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