PPE & Radiation Safety

Written by j.t. barett
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PPE & Radiation Safety
You wear personal protective equipment to shield you from radiation. (radiation image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) can help you work safely around radiation and radioactive materials. Generally, you wear PPE to shield yourself from radiation or to keep radioactive dust and debris off your skin.

Lead Apron

Your dentist gives you a lead apron to wear when she takes your dental X-rays. The apron protects your gonads and chest from X-ray exposure. While dental X-rays don't pose a life-threatening risk, they add to your body's long-term radiation burden.

Hazmat Suit

In addition to direct radiation hazards, you need to protect yourself from radioactive dust. If you inhale it or get it on your skin, the ingested radiation may cause cancer. People who work in dusty radioactive environments wear a hazardous materials (hazmat) suit. This is a disposable plastic sealed coverall, usually having a filtered respirator or self-contained breathing apparatus. While you'll need other protection for radiation, the suit keeps the dust away from you.


Some sources of ultraviolet (UV) light are very harmful to your eyes. Specially rated goggles let you safely work around some forms of UV radiation. These are not sunglasses, but work goggles certified by a safety agency.

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