Nuclear medicine technologists (NMTs) have the highest effective doses of radiation among medical workers. With increase in the use of lightweight materials in diagnostic radiography, the aim was to compare the effectiveness of lead and lightweight aprons in shielding from 99m-Technetium (⁹⁹mTc) gamma rays. The doses received from a scattering phantom to the entrance, 9cm depth and exit of a phantom were measured with LiF:Mg, Cu, P thermoluminescent dosemeters (TLDs). Doses and spectra were assessed without no shielding, with 0.5-mm lead and lightweight aprons. The lead and lightweight aprons decreased entrance surface doses by 76 and 59%, respectively. The spectral analysis showed that the lightweight apron provided better dose reduction at energies <95 keV, though lead was 35% more efficient at higher energies. While lead apron demonstrated better shielding, the additional savings should be considered with the weight differential. It is concluded that the lightweight apron is suitable to be worn by NMTs interacting with patients injected with a ⁹⁹mTc labelled radiopharmaceutical.
Radiation Protection Dosimetry Vol. 124, Issue 2, p. 89-96