A healthcare facility’s guide to lead-lined doors
What are lead-lined doors, how much do they cost and why are they so important in the healthcare industry? Read this essential guide before investing.
There are a lot of complexities involved in the design of a building in the healthcare industry, including strict standards and regulations. One integral element to consider is the integration of lead-lined doors. This innovative solution is essential in creating a safe environment for patients, medical professionals and visitors. To give you a better idea of the subject and enable you to make an informed decision in your healthcare facility, we explore the purpose and specification of lead-lined doors in this blog.
What are lead-lined doors?
Lead-lined doors are used in the healthcare sector to isolate the transmission of radiation generated via X-ray rooms. The dense properties in lead are an effective method of shielding sources of radiation, including X-rays, nuclear radiation and gamma rays. As a material, lead is flexible, stable and has a high atomic number, which makes it an easy and useful addition to door sets.
Where are lead-lined doors used?
Lead-lined doors are used predominantly in X-ray or CT scan precincts within healthcare facilities and operating areas in nuclear plants to shield radiation exposure. They are also used in veterinary practices with X-ray equipment. Every set of lead-lined doors is custom-made to suit a facility, based on the design and level of exposure experienced.
At Raybloc X-Ray Protection, we produce lead-lined X-ray doors to suit existing interior decoration and room dimensions. They can also be made in various finishes, ranging from wood veneer and plastic laminate to primer painted and PVC.
How do lead-lined doors protect users?
The effectiveness of lead-lined doors against radiation is quite staggering. X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths between 0.01 and 10 nanometres. Their wavelengths sit between gamma rays and UV rays. When the energy of electromagnetic radiation passes through the body, the energy is absorbed in different rates by various body parts.
Lead offsets the X-rays, with a proportion of the radiation absorbed. The remainder escapes from the other side. Therefore, the thicker the piece of lead X-rays must pass through, the greater the proportion of absorbed X-rays. Lead is used in doors because of its:
– High atomic number (Z=82) – Lead contains many protons and electrons per atom. The interaction of X-rays with electrons is the main way they are absorbed.
– High mass density – The number of electrons per unit volume is very large.
Due to these two factors, it takes less lead to mitigate X-rays than many other door materials. Lead is also a more affordable and flexible material to use than other alternatives with greater densities and atomic numbers.
What is the base cost for lead-lined doors?
As a rough estimate, the price of quality, bespoke lead-lined doors start from £1,500. However, the cost depends on various factors, including:
– The type of finish you want
– The dimensions of the doorframe
– The thickness of the lead panels required
Lead thickness should be increased to achieve several levels of radiation protection, as advised by an RPA (Radiation Protection Adviser). You can get an idea of the weights of various lead thicknesses in the illustration below.
What medical approval is needed and why?
All healthcare facilities with X-ray or CT scan technology must have lead-lined doors to maintain the safety of patients and staff. Lead-lined doors should also be medically approved and adhere to the following standards:
– Lead-lined door sets must be manufactured to the latest hygiene regulations (NHS HTM 58) in infection control for use in a medical, dental, veterinary or radioactive environment.
– For facilities with 3D CBCT or OPG machines, code 3 regulations state a lead-leaded door should consist of at least 1.32mm of lead with a leaded viewing window.
Find lead-lined doors to suit your specification
Every healthcare facility is unique. At Raybloc X-Ray Protection, we manufacture medically approved lead-lined doors to suit your building design. Our lead panel thickness can range from 1mm to 3.5mm, depending on your requirements and budget. To find out more, get in touch with our team today. We’ll help you determine the right lead-lined door specifications for your facility.