Evaluation of Tungsten and Lead Surgical Gloves for Radiation Protection

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We present experimental results on the radiation protection offered by some types of gloves commercialized for use in operating rooms where x rays are used and in interventional radiology rooms. Some gloves with lead as the attenuating element and others containing tungsten were evaluated. The composition of some gloves was determined by x-ray fluorescence analysis. Attenuations for direct beam and for scattered radiation were obtained with different quality x-ray beams. The results obtained are compared with data supplied by the manufacturers. We have also simulated numerically the attenuation of x-ray spectra of different kVp and filtrations to establish the possible advantages of tungsten as an attenuating element. It is concluded that the use of tungsten as an attenuating element is clearly more advantageous than lead in the whole range of energies used in diagnostic radiology since gloves with tungsten offer the same protection while also allowing much better tactile perception than gloves with lead.

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