Optimization of Shielding Barriers for Feasible Exposure to Medical X-Ray Radiation
Keywords:X-ray, Shielding;, Protection barrier, XRYBARR;, Workload;, Radiation dose.
Despite the importance of X-ray facilities in medical practices, adequate shielding is required to reduce exposure to patients, workers and members of the general public. The importance of adequate shielding barriers in attenuating the intensity of X-rays to recommended limits thus cannot be over-emphasized. An evaluation of the shielding barrier in a public hospital was carried out with the aim of optimizing radiation protection of the general radiology department of specialist hospital Sokoto with the X-ray facility unit of the department as a case study. XRAYBARR software was used to evaluate the primary and secondary barriers using the X-ray tube Specification, distance of the various occupied areas, workload distribution, and use factor. An area survey was carried out using thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLD). Values from XRAYBARR and measured values from TLDs, the ratio of the software calculated to the designed barrier thickness and the ratio of measured to the designed dose were all compared. The ratio of the software calculated barrier thickness to designed barrier thickness was greater than 1 except in 4 positions. Results of the study also indicated that the ratio of the measured to design dose was greater than 1 for all the positions. This indicates that the barrier put in place except at 4 positions is not adequate to protect individuals from harmful effect of radiation. The result also shows that radiation dose beyond the barrier is greater than the design dose limit at all positions. Therefore, the need for reinforcement of the existing shielding barrier.