Why is Lead One of the Best Materials for Radiation Protection?


If you have x-rays or radiation treatment for illness, you need prevent the harmful rays produced by the equipment from spilling out into the surrounding hallways and rooms. Some materials prevent penetration of dangerous rays better than others. In fact, lead shields for radiology applications are one of the best protections you can use and there are many reasons why.



When you see or touch a solid material, it might look like impenetrable. In reality, tiny things pass right through the human body and brick walls with little to no resistance. That’s because atoms (which make up matter) are not completely solid and their arrangement (density) can vary a great deal.

It’s not easy for radiation to penetrate dense materials, but what makes lead (like the lead shields for radiology) denser than most? It has to do with its atomic structure. In other words, the atoms are packed more tightly together than in other materials. This gives lead a high amount of mass, so it’s more difficult for even the tiniest of things to pass through.



You can find a few materials that have a greater density than lead. For example, gold is denser and so is platinum. Tungsten is another material that’s denser than lead. However, compare the price of lead shields for radiology use, to gold lined walls, aprons, or other materials to protect patients and workers from harmful radiation. This cost is beyond most budgets today.



Lead is the most cost-effective material for radiation protection today, and Mayco Industries is there to help you get the best protection at the most affordable costs. Mayshielding (our radiation protection division) produces a wide range of lead plate and sheet material for radiation shielding. We carry many stock sizes and can custom manufacture what you need. Call 800-749-6061 today for more details.