A lead apron or leaded apron is a type of protective clothing that acts as a radiation shield. It is constructed of a thin rubber exterior and an interior of lead in the shape of a hospital apron. The purpose of the lead apron is to reduce exposure of a hospital patient to x-rays to vital organs that are potentially exposed to ionizing radiation during medical imaging that uses x-rays (radiography, fluoroscopy, computed tomography).
Specific anatomic regions
Protection of the reproductive organs with a lead apron is considered important because DNA changes to sperm or egg cells of the patient may pass on genetic defects to the offspring of the patient, causing serious and unnecessary hardship for child and parents.
The thyroid gland is especially vulnerable to x-ray exposure. Care should be taken to place a lead apron over the thyroid gland before taking dental radiographs. Aprons used for dental imaging should include thyroid collars.
- A Patient's Guide to Medical Imaging By Ronald Eisenberg, JD, MD, FACR, Alexander Margulis, MD
- Current oral and maxillofacial imaging,Thomas F. Razmus, Gail F. Williamson, Page 107