An Overview of X-Ray Doors
For spaces that use x-ray machines, it is extremely important that the doors are radiation shielded. Here’s a helpful overview of x-ray doors.
Healthcare facilties present very specific requirements when it comes to doors. Not only must they offer superior levels of fire protection and hygiene, and meet the traffic needs inherent to healthcare spaces, doors in x-ray clinics must also offer protection against unsafe radiation exposure for staff and patients.
X-ray doors are those that have been specifically engineered to provide a vital layer of protection on your doors to keep staff, clients and the general public safe from radiation.
Radiation shielding can be added to a variety of doors during the design and manufacture stage to prevent unsafe radiation from penetrating the doors. There are a wide variety of materials and systems that can be used.
What Is an X-Ray?
X-rays make up X-radiation, which is a form of electromagnetic radiation. They have wavelengths between 0.01 and 10 nanometres, which are longer than gamma rays but shorter than UV rays.
These rays can pass through relatively dense objects without being fully absorbed or scattered, but are absorbed at different degrees by materials differing in density. The denser the object, the more difficult it is for x-rays to pass through, which is why they show up as white on an x-ray image.
A classic example of this is an x-ray of the human body: dense body parts such as bone show up as very white, whereas less dense parts such as skin and muscle are less white.
Why Do You Need X-Ray Doors?
Unsafe exposure to radiation can have an array of negative health impacts. This ranges from from nausea and skin irritation through to nerve damage and cancer in extreme cases.
Luckily, radiation shielding can be added to a variety of doors during the design and manufacture stage to prevent unsafe radiation from penetrating through.
What Is Radiation Shielding?
Shielding from radiation involves lining doors with lead. Glass vision panels can also be treated to protect against radiation to offer an extra safeguarding layer. Lead-lined fire doors protect against low to medium energy x-rays. However, in high-level situations, interlocking lead bricks may be required to offer full protection.
Radiation shielding can also be applied to a wide range of door sizes and systems to suit your design and construction needs. These include swinging doors, pivot doors, sliding doors, fire doors, and smoke doors.
Who Requires X-Ray Doors?
X-ray doors have become an essential part of the health and safety strategy for many healthcare facilities, including:
- Radiology and X-Ray Facilities
- Dental Surgeries
- Veterinary Clinics
- Research Laboratories
X-Ray Protection Requirements
In Australia, the regulation of x-rays protection falls under the authority of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).
This agency works to promote a national standard of radiation safety and its Radiation Protection Series lays out the basic principles for managing radiation risk. Some of the most important principles (F-1, Feb 2014) to consider are:
- Principle 1 – “The prime responsibility for management of radiation risks must rest with the person or organisation responsible for facilities and activities that give rise to radiation risks”
- Principle 5 – “Protection must be optimised so that radiation risks are as low as reasonably achievable”
- Principle 6 – “Measures for controlling radiation risks must ensure that no individual bears an unacceptable risk of harm, and that the environment is protected”