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Q&A with…Dave Woolley, Technical Manager

What do RPAs want to know about our lead sheet products?

We often speak with radiation protection advisors who provide their consultation services to healthcare projects. Here are answers to the 3 questions we are asked most frequently:

Q: Is machine cast lead suitable for medical shielding?

A: Whilst the BS standard for radiation lead (BS 4094) does not specify machine cast or rolled lead sheets, both meet the exacting standards required by the medical industry. However, as cast lead is more cost effective, we commissioned an independent RPA to test its suitability as a radiation barrier. The clear conclusion from the data was that there were no discernible differences in the radiation shielding performance between machine cast lead and rolled lead.

Q: Do Midland Lead just supply lead sheet shielding?

A: Whilst Midland Lead supplies the widest range of lead-lined boards in the UK, we also offer a range of complementary radiation protection products including:

Q: What other alternatives to lead shielding are currently available?

A: There are materials other than lead that can reduce the intensity of radiation, including concrete, steel and bricks. However, aside from being a more cost effective option, lead remains one of the safest choices for radiation shielding for a number of reasons. In addition to its high density (for 1 unit thickness of lead, you would need approximately 2.5 units of thickness of steel and 6 units of thickness of concrete to achieve the same level of radiation protection), it is also one of the most reliable and easiest to work with. Using lead means no air pockets to cause radiation leakage and a straightforward, quick construction in even limited spaces.

Not only does this make lead more desirable in situations where space is limited, lead also offers the advantages of being straightforward to construct with, as well as easily decommissioned.