ASTM Developing Standard for Inspection of Radiation Protection Garments

HEALTHCARE workers who inspect radiation protection garments will be the primary users of a proposed new ASTM International standard, WK15823, "Practice for the Fluoroscopic Inspection of Radiation Protection Garments." The proposed practice is being developed by Subcommittee F23.70 on Radiological Hazards, part of ASTM International Committee F23 on Protective Clothing.

"Besides visual inspection for obvious damage, garments are often inspected fluoroscopically to detect defects that are not visible to the naked eye," said Gary Glenn, F23.70 chair and president, Golden Gate Medical Supplies. "Such inspections are routinely carried out without reference to a specific method and without acceptance or rejection criteria."

Glenn also noted that the person performing the inspections is exposed to radiation during the inspection. "Needless rejection of garments that could be considered acceptable is expensive and exposes the inspector to additional radiation during inspection of replacement garments," Glenn said.

In addition to inspectors, WK15823 will be useful to managers responsible for inspection programs and radiation safety officers who are responsible for overall safety within a facility.

According to Glenn, WK15823 is an extension of F 2547, "Test Method for Determining the Attenuation Properties in a Primary X-ray Beam of Materials Used to Protect Against Radiation Generated During the Use of X-ray Equipment," which was approved in 2006. That standard defines a test method to determine the attenuation characteristics of the materials that are used in radiation protection apparel and products, while the proposed new standard extends to the inspection of products.

The subcommittee welcomes participation in the development of WK15823. "We are specifically seeking involvement of radiological healthcare professionals to ensure development of a standard that is truly pertinent to their needs," Glenn said. "We have formed a task group for this purpose and anyone interested in joining can contact me."

For further technical information, contact Glenn at 415-234-6217 or goldengatemedical@gmail.com. Committee F23 meets Jan. 29-31, 2008, in Tampa, Fla. For membership or meeting information, contact Stephen Mawn, technical committee operations, ASTM International, 610-832-9726 or smawn@astm.org.

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