Uncomfortable lead clothing is often a necessary evil for hospital staff exposed to radiation. New radiation protection clothing is now being developed which is just as safe as today's lead clothing, but much more comfortable.
Hospital staff often have back and neck problems. One of the causes is believed to be the heavy lead clothing used for protection against radiation. The clothing is often worn for hours at a time, such as during complicated surgery using X-rays.
Improved work environment for hospital staff
According to a survey conducted by the Health Technology Centre in Halmstad, more than 80 % of hospital staff consider protective clothing to be hot, heavy and uncomfortable. To improve the work environment and reduce ergonomic discomfort, the company 10MD is developing new, lightweight protective clothing.
New clothes can be folded and washed
The new clothing is made from flexible fabric which is permeable to water vapour. The fabric consists of overlapping composite threads which absorb radiation. This material allows the clothes to be folded and washed, something not possible for lead clothing. Researchers at RISE assisted the company during material development, property analyses, manufacture and refinement.
"The new radiation protection materials being developed, where 10MD is at the forefront, could eventually result in a much improved work environment for healthcare personnel who are required to wear personal radiation protection," says Jimmy Börjesson, Medical Physicist at Halland Hospital in Halmstad.
Evaluation by hospital staff
Prototypes were produced based on interviews conducted by an ergonomist with hospital staff who tested and evaluated the clothing.