Radiation has wide ranging use in day-to-day life. In medicine, there are many uses of radiation like x-ray, mammography, computerized tomography (CT), cardiology and nuclear medicine. Treatment of disease or cancer by chemotherapy uses radiation. The wide ranging use of radiation in medicine poses a challenge of shielding radiation exposure except where it is intended for, be it doctors, relatives and friends of patients or others who have to be associated with the place where radiation is exposed or radioactive materials are stored or transported. aLead Shielding, lead has long been recognized as a highly effective material in providing protection from various sources of radiation, and as such, has become a standard in the design of radiation protection systems. Lead shielding refers to the use of lead to shield people or objects from unintended radiation. Lead can effectively contain certain kinds of radiation because of its high density and high atomic number; principally, it is effective at stopping alpha rays, gamma rays, and x-rays. lead apron offers excellent info on this.
Why lead works for radiation shielding? Lead has high density, a result of combination of its high atomic mass and the relatively small size of its bond lengths and atomic radius. The high atomic mass means that more electrons are needed to maintain a neutral charge and the small bond length and a small atomic radius means that many atoms can be packed into a particular lead structure. Because of lead’s density and large number of electrons, it is well suited to scattering x-rays and gamma-rays. These rays form photons, a type of boson, which impart energy onto electrons when they come into contact.
Can lead shield all kinds of radiation? Lead is not effective against all types of radiation. High energy electrons (including beta radiation) incident on lead may create bremsstrahlung radiation, which is potentially more dangerous to tissue than the original radiation. Furthermore, lead is not a particularly effective absorber of neutron radiation. Applications of lead for radiation shielding systems. Lead is used for shielding in, X-ray machines, Nuclear power plants, Labs using radioactive materials, Hospitals, Nuclear war equipments and devices.