Best practices for lead lining an X-ray room

Lead-lining an X-ray room correctly is crucial in protecting staff, patients and visitors from the dangers of radiation, but where do you start?

Lead’s excellent shielding capabilities make it a perfect shield for radiation protection in many industries, including medical, nuclear, and construction. One place where you’re sure to find lead-lining is X-ray rooms, but not all lead-lining is the same. Depending on the location of the X-ray room and equipment inside, different lead-lining regulations apply. Discover the ideal lead-lining for radiation protection for your X-ray room design.
Lead lining for X-ray room - raybloc xray protection

What is lead-lining?

Anything lead-lined is made from the essential element of lead and typically consists of a sheet applied to walls or panels. Naturally, the thicker the lead sheet, the more protection you have from radiation.

Lead-lining is applied to walls, panels, floors, ceilings, screens, windows, etc. In other words, for any room generating radiation, it’s vital to install lead-lining on all possible elements to protect staff and the public. Lead is the perfect element to shield from radiation due to its high-density levels, protecting people from radiation exposure, gamma rays, and X-rays.

What are the UK’s regulations for lead-lining rooms?

Under the principle of standardisation, the Royal Charter established the British Standards Institution (BSI) as an independent body in 1901. UK standardisation rules apply to lead-lining and are maintained by British Standard BS EN 12588, ensuring all lead sheet is produced to certain specifications and exact chemical compositions. The lead-lining standards include:

– Pure lead – 99.81%
– Standard thickness tolerance – +/- 5%

There are six BS EN 12588 codes for lead thickness and weight:

– Code 3 – 1.32mm – 15.0 kg/m2
– Code 4 – 1.80mm – 20.2 kg/m2
– Code 5 – 2.24mm – 25.4 kg/m2
– Code 6 – 2.65mm – 30.1 kg/m2
– Code 7 – 3.15mm – 35.7 kg/m2
– Code 8 – 3.55mm – 40.3 kg/m2

Establishing the correct thickness of lead for radiation protection is officially advised by the RPA (Radiation Protection Advisers) courtesy of the HSE (Health and Safety Executive). Any employee working on ionising radiation must consult an RPA for advice in line with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17). If you need to find a local RPA, Raybloc has compiled a comprehensive list of RPAs across the UK to assist with radiation shielding requirements.

3 requirements for lead-lining an X-ray room

While numerous forms of lead shielding exist for radiation protection, an X-ray room requires permanent shielding through lead sheets, slabs, or plates used in walls, floors, ceilings, and floors. Transparent shielding is also applied in lead windows, essential for X-ray room procedures as radiologists must observe the patient while the X-ray procedure takes place.

Lead-lined X-ray room walls

For X-ray room walls, we suggest a lead-lined thickness of 1.50mm (BS EN 12588 – Code 4). Alongside the lead lining, we recommend a 320mm wall thickness of solid cement, offering complete protection from floor to ceiling. Raybloc provides Lead Panel Products of lead-lined plasterboard or plywood. Our standard sizes include:

– 2000 x 600mm
– 2400 x 600mm
– 300 x 600mm

With a maximum range of:
– 3000 x 1200mm

Lead-lined wall panelling increases the density between partition and external walls to protect the X-ray room. Lead thicknesses range from 1mm to 3.5mm, but we can increase lead protection by installing multiple layers. All lead-lined panels can be supplied and fitted to perfection by the experienced professionals of our installation team.

Lead-lined X-ray room doors

Lead-lined doors for X-ray rooms share the wall specifications, 1.5mm of lead-lining (minimum 1.32mm – BS EN 12588 Code 1). An overlap of 1.55mm must be included as the specification to cover the gap.

Doors should be manufactured with a solid structure and conform to the latest hygiene regulations (NHS HTM 58). As a rule of thumb, ensure the X-ray beam isn’t directed at the doors during procedures. We offer bespoke lead-lined X-ray door sets in various finishes, including wood veneer, pre-primer painted, plastic laminate, and PVC.

Flush Mounted Door Warning Lights are ideal additions to warn staff and patients of ongoing procedures. All our mounted wall lights come with a lifetime guarantee with RPA approval, CE marked, while meeting UK lighting legislation.

Leaded glass X-ray room windows

While X-ray room windows have no lead sheet protection for obvious reasons, they still protect from radiation through leaded glass. We recommend shielded window frames with sufficient lead-lining and overlap protection. Raybloc supplies and installs X-ray shielding lead glass, with thicknesses ranging from 1mm to 3.55mm. Our standard size is 800mm x 1000mm with available widths of 2000mm.

We also offer a complete specially designed radiation window with leaded glass protection. Our X-ray protective viewing windows have multiple privacy panels, supplied and fitted in specific shapes, from small circular panels in doors to large observation windows ideal for X-ray control rooms.

Invest in highly protective lead-lining for your X-ray room

At Raybloc, we have over 35 years of experience in supplying and installing quality radiation protection products. As industry leaders in X-ray protection, we’ve built our reputation on protecting people from the dangers of radiation across various industries. For more information on how we can help protect the lives of your staff and patients,  speak to one of our X-ray protection experts today.

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Lead Lined Wall Panelling

Do not skip corners when it comes to radiation protection. It is what shields you, your staff, and your patients from harmful radiation. There is no compromise when it comes to people’s lives. Call today to speak to one of our x-ray protection experts on 01902 633383 or email Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.