Whether or not protective lead aprons are beneficial to minimizing patient exposure to ionizing radiation is a hot topic right now. In January, many media outlets reported that, due to recent technological advances and current evidence and expert guidance, many healthcare organizations nationwide are looking to phase out the decades-old safety practice.
The lead apron has been standard attire for patient protection during radiography for over 70 years. However, recent research suggests that the old standard may actually inadvertently increase a patient’s radiation exposure, which is triggering large healthcare organizations to rethink the overall benefit of protective aprons, with some already doing away with them altogether.
While the debate to use protective aprons for patient protection during x-ray exposure rages on nationally, one thing has stayed constant in California. – The California Department of Public Health Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) has not changed their stance on the use of protective aprons. California Title 17 regulations, and subsequently RHB, still require them during dental radiography.