The new recommendation of the International Commission on Radiological Protection for occupational eye dose is an equivalent dose limit to the eye of 20 mSv year-1, averaged over a 5-year period. This recommendation is a drastic reduction from the previous limit of 150 mSv year-1. Hence, it is important to protect physicians' eyes from X-ray radiation. Particularly in interventional radiology (IVR) procedures, many physicians use protective lead (Pb) glasses to reduce their occupational exposure. This study assessed the shielding effects of novel 0.07 mm Pb glasses. The novel glasses (XR-700) have Pb-acrylic lens molded in three dimensions. We studied the novel type of 0.07 mm Pb glasses over a period of seven consecutive months. The eye dose occupational radiation exposure of seven IVR physicians was evaluated during various procedures. All IVR physicians wore eye dosimeters (DOSIRIS™) close to the left side of the left eye. To calculate the shielding effects of the glasses, this same type of eye dosimeter was worn both inside and outside of the Pb lenses. The average shielding effect of the novel glasses across the seven physicians was 61.4%. Our results suggest an improved shielding effect for IVR physicians that use these glasses. No physician complained that the new glasses were uncomfortable; therefore comfort is not a problem. The lightweight glasses were acceptable to IVR physicians, who often must perform long procedures. Thus, the novel glasses are comfortable and reasonably protective. Based on the results of this study, we recommend that IVR physicians use these novel 0.07 mm Pb glasses to reduce their exposure.
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