Radiation Shielding And Applications Of Cadmium And Lead In Medicine

  • Author: Canada Metal
  • Date: May 3, 2017

Medical professionals appreciate the significance of specialized metal products and the functions these metals provide in hospitals and medical research, particularly with regard to radiation shielding.

Metals cater to a range of requirements in medicine for diagnostic and treatment purposes – but the full range of applications for certain high-value metals applies to a number of specializations. Central to this is radiation shielding. Radiation shielding is of utmost importance across healthcare disciplines such as dentistry, veterinary science, and medical industries as well as research. The primary metals related to radiation shielding are lead and cadmium – The most frequently used is lead in various form including, brick, both flat and interlocking, lead blocks, tubes, sheet as well as cadmium sheet.

Cadmium metal is a metal that’s found naturally in the Earth’s crust. It is highly malleable and is rated 67 in abundance out of 90 naturally occurring elements. Cadmium readily absorbs neutrons and is used in the nuclear industry for neutron shielding and in the manufacture of control rods for nuclear reactors. A specific application of cadmium sheets, therefore, is for neutron radiation shielding. Industries where cadmium sheets are required range from medical research to nuclear power generation.

Lead, on the other hand, is the principal material used in X-ray and gamma radiation shielding. Applications where lead is used include, but are not restricted to, hospitals, laboratories, dental offices, radioactive material transportation, and more. Lead’s importance and prominence in radiation shielding is due to the metal’s outstanding qualities of density, adaptability, ease of fabrication, high atomic number, high degree of stability, and availability. Specially manufactured lead products can be used for a broad range of shielding applications; specifically as partitions, doors, and walls, to cite some examples. But the full range of applications for lead is extensive.

The various lead shapes used for radiation shielding each have their merits. Lead bricks and blocks are popular in research laboratories, where they can be used and re-used. Lead sheets are suited to permanent shield installations such as wall linings. Interlocking lead bricks are used to build wall where shielding necessitates lead thicknesses of 1 or more.

As indicated, the use of lead and cadmium in a particular form will depend on the specific demands of each situation. But one thing’s for certain: When it comes to radiation shielding effectiveness, lead and cadmium remain in the forefront.

Canada Metal North America (CMNA) specializes in the manufacture and delivery of cadmium and lead radiation shielding products for hospitals and the medical profession, as well as being a supplier of superior quality metal products to industries that include aerospace, oil and gas, commercial marine, defense, and more. Canada Metal welcomes you to learn more about the company’s extensive products and capabilities.

Also Read: A Guide to Radiation Shielding

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