Post: Ensuring Employee Protection: The Vital Role of Safety Glasses in Fluoroscopy Labs and Hospitals

Ensuring Employee Protection: The Vital Role of Safety Glasses in Fluoroscopy Labs and Hospitals

Extend your commitment to safety beyond lead aprons and protective collars in your fluoroscopy practices. It’s crucial to recognize that every exposed area of skin and tissue is susceptible to radiation. While modern fluoroscopy machines incorporate improved safety features, it remains essential to provide your technicians with comprehensive protective barriers for their hands, face, and eyes, not just their torso. Make radiation safety glasses a mandatory part of your required safety equipment, enabling your employees to safeguard their vision and skin effectively.

Ensuring the safety of nurses, technicians, and physicians in your lab requires a combination of well-defined policies and proper safety equipment. While practices such as careful handling of fluoroscopy tools and limiting radiation exposure time are crucial, they alone are not sufficient to prevent potential harm. It is imperative to provide a comprehensive range of protective gear, including lead aprons, protective collars, and safety glasses.


The primary risk for medical staff lies in scattered radiation. Although they do not directly encounter the primary x-ray beam, x-rays scatter off every surface, including the patient. Numerous uncontrollable factors can influence the extent of scatter, making it essential to prioritize the defense of vulnerable targets rather than solely focusing on containing the x-rays. By recognizing the significance of this scattered radiation risk, you can take the necessary steps to safeguard your staff effectively.

In the context of exposure to radiation, traditional x-ray labs necessitate a significant level of protection. When it comes to fluoroscopy, which involves continuous x-ray imaging rather than isolated bursts of radiation, the associated risks become even more pronounced. It becomes crucial to safeguard any organs that may potentially be exposed, particularly for patients undergoing repeated sessions and technicians working in these environments.

Among the various organs, the eyes are particularly vulnerable due to their delicate nature. Unlike other body parts, eyes cannot be adequately shielded using conventional lead aprons or coverings, which has resulted in a slower adoption of radiation safety glasses. Therefore, it is important to address the unique health concerns related to eye protection in radiation environments.

Prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation, particularly in the context of long-term work in a fluoroscopy lab, significantly increases the risk of developing cataracts. Cataracts occur when proteins in the lens of the eye accumulate, leading to the obstruction of light and subsequent cloudiness in vision. Over time, untreated cataracts can progressively worsen, causing partial or complete blindness. While the development of cataracts is a gradual process and a single incident of unprotected exposure may not have immediate harmful effects, labs that do not prioritize eye protection are more prone to recurrent incidents over time or lack the necessary equipment to safeguard technicians effectively. Therefore, proactive measures must be taken to mitigate these risks and ensure the well-being of individuals working in radiation environments.

The skin surrounding the eyes is particularly sensitive and prone to erythema, or skin inflammation. In addition to safeguarding the eyes, radiation safety glasses serve an important role in blocking scattered x-rays from reaching the eyelids and the surrounding skin. Erythema can result from exposure to various irritants, including radiation. While exposure to ionizing radiation doses exceeding 2 Gy can cause redness and hair loss, higher doses above 10 Gy, although less likely, have the potential to permanently damage the skin by causing dermal hardening or thinning. It is crucial to prioritize the use of safety glasses to mitigate these risks and protect the delicate skin around the eyes from the harmful effects of radiation.

Radiation exposure also poses an increased risk of cancer, emphasizing the need to restrict whole-body exposure, particularly in the context of fluoroscopy labs where constant exposure is likely. The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements (NCRP) establish limits for overall radiation exposure. While safety glasses are just one component of this comprehensive approach, they play a crucial role in protecting against both general stochastic risks and specific ocular cancers. To ensure safety, the NCRP has set the radiation dose limit for eye lenses at 15,000 millirems per year. By adhering to these guidelines and incorporating radiation safety glasses, individuals can mitigate the potential hazards associated with radiation exposure.


By implementing a multi-layered approach to physical protection and updating safety procedures in accordance with international standards, you can significantly enhance the safety of your fluoroscopy lab. It is crucial to align your laboratory protocols with the International Basic Safety Standards for Protection Against Ionizing Radiation and the Safety of Radiation Sources.

Regularly consulting with your hospital administrator and radiation safety officer is essential to ensure that your established procedures align with the latest safety guidelines and dose limits. Consider advocating for the mandatory use of lead safety glasses as a standard safety measure for all individuals exposed to radiation within your lab or hospital. Each institution may have its own policies and guidelines, so it is important to evaluate and implement the appropriate measures to safeguard your employees’ health.

It is crucial to assess and evaluate the radiation risks faced by different subgroups of your staff in the lab or hospital. Doctors, nurses, and technicians may experience varying levels of radiation exposure based on factors such as their specific roles and responsibilities, as well as variations in work schedules and shifts. By analyzing the workload patterns within your facility, including peak hours, days, and seasonal variations, you can gain insights to effectively manage and regulate exposure. This information can be used to implement strategies such as scheduling adjustments or workload redistribution, ensuring that all employees are protected and kept safe from excessive radiation exposure.

Maintaining exposure levels below the established dose limit is crucial for ensuring the safety of employees in your lab. The ICRP has set a limit of 20 mSv for occupational exposure, although additional restrictions may apply depending on the specific requirements of your lab or different roles within the facility. Utilizing thermoluminescent dosimetry allows for accurate measurement of radiation exposure, providing valuable data to drive policy changes if necessary. Regular audits of exposure information play a vital role in employee safety, as they enable you to analyze the effectiveness of older or damaged safety glasses that may need replacement. Furthermore, these audits help assess whether older fluoroscopy tools are exposing patients and staff to radiation doses that exceed acceptable limits, prompting the need for appropriate actions to mitigate such risks.

Identifying outliers is essential in mitigating the risks associated with radiation exposure. While rearranging workloads and adjusting exposure intervals are straightforward strategies, there may be other less apparent factors at play. By leveraging data, you can gain valuable insights to refine your operations and further enhance safety measures. Analyzing data allows you to uncover hidden patterns, identify areas of improvement, and implement targeted interventions to minimize radiation risks effectively.

Ensuring lab safety encompasses the vital inclusion of radiation safety glasses. These essential protective gear not only safeguard your technicians and staff from potential accidents and short-term radiation exposure, but they also play a significant role in mitigating the long-term risks, such as cataract development. Prioritizing the well-being of your employees not only reduces expenses but also enhances employee retention. If you are in need of new safety glasses for your fluoroscopy lab, make sure to check Phillips Safety’s radiation collection, where you can find a wide range of safety glasses designed with appropriate protective thresholds and high-quality materials.

If you still aren’t sure which radiation glasses are right for you, it’s a good idea to give us a call at 1-866-575-1307 or talk to us through our chat or e-mail us at

Our radiation experts will be able to tell you what you need for your application.


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