Lead-based sheets are created when various materials are lined with sheet lead to provide shielding from high-level gamma-ray and X-ray radiation. Sheet lead can be laminated or bonded to drywall, plywood, steel, cement board, and other materials for use in environments where radiation protection is needed. Lead lining is a popular shielding application for many reasons, including its malleability, corrosion resistance, noise absorption, and superior efficacy in reducing gamma radiation.
Lead’s high molecular density means that when radiation seeks to penetrate a lead-based product, its electrons are absorbed, and its energy is broadcast.
Applications for Lead-Based Sheets
The most common applications for lead-based sheets are tank lining, roofing and flashing, corrosion protection, radiation shielding, and soundproofing. Additionally, nuclear energy shielding, waterproofing, and vibration absorption all use lead-based sheets in some form. Lead lining is crucial in scientific, industrial, and medical applications that use targeted, high-dose radiation for diagnostic procedures and imaging. Commercial contractors also use lead-lined sheetrock or gypsum for applications that require resistance to impact, abuse, mold, and moisture.
Drywall with lead lining can be a permanent radiation protection solution that offers more effective shielding than mobile or semi-permanent partitions. Any environment where employees or patients are at risk of prolonged radiation exposure needs the security of having the proper protection in place.
Types of Lead-Based Radiation Services
The following types of lead-based radiation services are available from experienced businesses who follow industry regulations and protocols to ensure efficacy and safety:
- Lead welding or burning
- Lead filling of nuclear storage containers
- Lamination to plywood and other materials using sheet lead
- Lead-lined cabinets
- Lead lining of tanks
Lead welding — also known as lead burning — is a welding process that fabricates, lines, or coats an item with lead. The lead welding process is often used when making repairs or performing maintenance.
Lead filling is a service provided to the nuclear industry for filling flasks, handling equipment, and nuclear storage containers.
The Need for Radiation Protection
If a person absorbs a large amount of lead or regularly ingests small amounts, it can be harmful to their health. Exposure to high radiation levels can result in damage to cells and tissues. Depending on the amount of time exposed and the source’s distance, radiation exposure can lead to health conditions that range from skin burns to radiation sickness.
Lead can be taken into the body through the lungs, nose, and mouth, however, inorganic lead is difficult to be significantly absorbed through unbroken skin. Preventing inhalation and ingestion of lead by adopting common-sense working practices will minimize lead intake risk when handling and working alongside any radiation protection products.
Visit the Canada Metal website to receive radiation shielding solutions that are custom-crafted with precision and meet and exceed international standards. For more than a century, Canada Metal has delivered on your most challenging needs in lead and lead-based products and services.