Post: Understanding the Differences: Radiation Shielding Glass vs. Lead Acrylic

Understanding the Differences: Radiation Shielding Glass vs. Lead Acrylic

Keep in mind that when it comes to getting a lead shield, both options will give you the necessary protection you’re looking for. It all just comes down to understanding where the key differences lie. This way, as a customer, you can make the best decision about whether to go with radiation-shielding glass or lead acrylic protection. 

Core differences between lead acrylic and radiation-shielding glass:


Lead glass is durable and resists chemicals and UV radiation, maintaining transparency and allowing more light, but it will darken through ionizing radiation exposure. So keep in mind that it won’t always be completely clear.  On the other hand, lead acrylic comes with a bit of color. Through wear and tear, lead acrylic typically darkens from UV rays, chemicals, and other radiation. At the same time, lead acrylic tends to be less reflective, which means it won’t have any glare issues. 

 Lead equivalencies

Radiation shielding glass will tend to be thinner and offer more Pb equivalency protection than lead acrylic. For lead acrylic to match the similar Pb equivalency, it will tend to need to be around four to five times thicker to get to the same level, which also will end up making it heavier.  


Lead acrylic is much easier to handle during shipping, as any type of lead shield made with glass will be a lot more fragile. With that said, once it’s properly installed, the scratch resistance will be much better and higher with glass versus lead acrylic. 

Options for either radiation shield glass or lead acrylic:

No matter what, Philips Safety does its best to cater to your needs and will typically carry both options based on your preference.

MRI-Safe Mobile Leaded Aluminum Barriers

This MRI-Safe Mobile Leaded Aluminum Barrier is the perfect lead shield to provide protection that’s MRI-friendly. The MRI-Safe Mobile Leaded Aluminum Barrier 30 x 60″ window version Its total height is 75 inches, and it comes with a 30-inch by 60-inch window that can be made of either lead acrylic or Schott leaded glass. You’ll get 0.5mm Pb lead equivalency protection if you choose lead acrylic. For those that go with the Schott leaded glass, you can expect a 2.0mm Pb lead equivalency of protection.

The MRI-Safe Mobile Leaded Aluminum Barrier with 30” x 48” window version comes in the same height as the lead shield mentioned above, at 75 inches, but simply comes with a smaller window. The window is 30 inches by 48 inches, and you have the same option of going with the 2.0mm Pb lead equivalency of protection with the Schott leaded glasses or the lead acrylic material, providing 0.5mm Pb lead equivalency of protection. It’s easy to transport with the caster locking base that has legs made out of steel.

Do keep in mind that either option, while meant to be mobile, is always best handled by two people to help move it from location to location. 

All things considered, radiation safety is essential in medical facilities and lead shields are an effective solution for protecting professionals from the harmful effects of X-ray radiation. The Phillips Safety Lead Shields collection offers superior protection, quality, and reliability, making them an excellent choice for healthcare professionals. 

We hope this article has given you a good understanding of the differences between Radiation Shielding Glass vs. Lead Acrylic. If you have any questions or need more information about lead shields or other safety gear, our customer service team is always available to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we will be happy to assist you.

If you still aren’t sure which lead shield 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.