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Lead shielding refers to the use of lead as a form of radiation protection to shield people or objects from radiation. Lead can effectively attenuate certain kinds of radiation because of its high density and high atomic number; principally, it is effective at stopping alpha rays, gamma rays, and x-rays. However, lead is not effective against all types of radiation. High energy electrons (including beta radiation) incident on lead may create bremsstrahlung radiation, which is potentially more dangerous to tissue than the original radiation. Furthermore, lead is not a particularly effective absorber of neutron radiation.
Additional recommended knowledge
Lead is used for shielding in x-ray machines, nuclear power plants, labs, military equipment, and other places radiation may be encountered. There is great variety in the types of shielding available both to protect both people and to shield equipment and experiments. Personal shielding includes lead aprons (such as the familiar garment used during dental x-rays), thyroid shields, and lead gloves. There are also a variety of shielding devices available for laboratory equipment, including lead castles, structures composed of lead bricks, and lead pigs, thick containers for storing and transporting radioactive samples.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lead_shielding". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.