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Dixon Robert L.; Simpkin, Douglas J.
Health Physics: February 1998
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Traditional methods of diagnostic x-ray shielding design assume that the raw primary beam impinges directly on the structural barrier with attenuation by the patient and by the hardware in the x-ray beam (cassette, cassette holder, x-ray table) being ignored. Moreover, primary barrier calculations are done assuming a single, conservatively high value of the operating potential, rather than the lower kVp values more representative of clinical usage. This results in extreme conservatism, which is no longer defensible in light of the lowered dose limit to a member of the general public of 1 mSv y−1, which is equal in magnitude to natural background radiation (excluding radon). A shielding model is developed that accounts for attenuation of the primary beam prior to impinging on the structural barrier and which uses a workload which is distributed over a range of clinically realistic operating potentials. The resulting model is as simple to use as that, assuming a single value of the kVp. Sample calculations are performed and the results compared to those from more traditional shielding calculation methods.

©1998Health Physics Society