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Defining the Cath Lab Workplace Radiation Safety Hazard

The biggest workplace concern for interventional cardiologists and cath lab staff is their daily exposure to ionizing radiation from the angiographic X-ray systems that are central to their procedures. In addition to increased cancer risks and developing cataracts, they are also worried about orthopedic issues caused by wearing heavy radiation protection aprons, which takes a toll on the spine and can lead to chronic back problems.

Interventional cardiology is a relatively new subspecialty, with the first interventional cath labs established in the late 1980s. But over the past decade, concern has risen sharply as older interventionists began showing high rates of cataracts, left-side brain cancers and chronic orthopedic back problems. For this reason, the younger generation of new interventional cardiologists are actively looking for ways to reduce their radiation exposure and eliminate the need to wear lead aprons, or at least reduce the weight.

Full story can be found on Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology.

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