If you talk to any medical professional who wears personal protection equipment on a regular basis, it won’t be long before two key topics are bound to crop up. The first of these, obviously, is protection. And the more frequently you’re exposed in an X-Ray radiation environment, the more this will concern you. Following on from this, the next topic that is guaranteed to come up is the combined notion of weight and comfort.
At AmRay, we simply don’t believe that professionals should have to choose between protection and comfort, which is why we produce the lightest lead-free alternative on the market – with all of the radiation protection demanded by the latest standards.
But by way of explaining why we make this bold claim, let’s wind back a little to May 2014 when we saw the publication of the EN 61331 standard, relating to compliance of protective devices against diagnostic medical X-radiation.
This came about as a response to the arrival of leadfree material in the U.S., which was specially designed for specific radiation parameters – but failed outside of these parameters. The 2014 standard came into being after fears that the 1994 version did not properly provide for secondary emissions and fluorescence emitted from shielding materials – especially reduced lead and leadfree materials – upon exposure to some x-ray energies.
Not unexpectedly, the 2014 standard was short-lived. Within just a couple of years, industry experts were concerned about the lead calibration data used in these test reports when it was compared to data from a range of other labs. This brought the test methodology into question, meaning that the matter was addressed by the IEC working group with responsibility for the standard
As a result of this, September 2016 saw the publication of a guidance note, along with an altered testing procedure. This led to some confusion over the following months, as no new certification was offered to manufacturers. Another attempt was made to address the issue of personal protection equipment testing methodology. And this brings us neatly to the present moment. From April 21st of this year, labelling on all PPE equipment must show the area density of the material used.
And while progress in the fight against radiation is always welcome, we here in AmRay believe that this is open to exploitation by less scrupulous lead manufacturers or personal protection equipment suppliers. The way things stand, anyone can claim an area density for their products – without the need for independent verification.
We believe that this falls well short of what end users deserve. We therefore insist on third party verification from an independent test laboratory. Until this becomes the norm, our industry cannot demand the full confidence of the market.
By obtaining independent verification for our weights and our standards, we are doing our bit to make sure that the consumer can take protection for granted when they order PPE. Surely this is the least that health professionals and their patients should expect?
For further information on this topic, contact:
Tel: +353 87 6320603