Your thyroid is one of the most sensitive organs in your body when it comes to radiation exposure. Thyroid shields are the best way to minimize the risk of thyroid cancer from radiation exposure during procedures. It helps to block the radiation that’s generated in making X-ray images.
The thyroid gland must be protected because it is vulnerable to scatter radiation. It controls several essential bodily functions, such as metabolism, blood pressure, cholesterol, body temperature, and the menstrual cycle, by releasing hormones. The link between radiation & thyroid damage has been widely researched & documented. Hence, the thyroid is very sensitive to radiation and has a higher risk of developing cancer. Wearing a thyroid shield will prevent thyroid problems after radiation exposure.
Some people recommend taking potassium iodide(KI) in a radiation emergency to protect their thyroid. Potassium iodide blocks the thyroid’s uptake of radioactive iodine, which is very beneficial. But the thyroid can’t perceive between normal iodine & radioactive iodine and will absorb whatever it can. This results in the body increasing risk of thyroid cancer.
So, it is best to prevent radiation from affecting the thyroid from anything harmful. And this can be accomplished by wearing a thyroid shield, the protective gear of the thyroid.
Various factors impact the probabilities of increasing thyroid problems after radiation exposure. The posh way to gauge the lowest chance of increasing thyroid-related issues is to wear protective clothing, such as thyroid collars or shields.
Some factors related to increasing radiation-related thyroid cancer include:
- Age and latency
- Personal and familial susceptibility
- Iodine status
- Other thyroid pathologies
The annual utmost permitted dose recommended for the thyroid is 300 mSv. A thyroid shield can decrease the effective dose by 2.5 times & the total exposure by nearly 45-50%.
Recently, a study showed that many radiologists report musculoskeletal pain from the weight of lead materials. Sometimes lead shielding can occur in situations that increase a patient’s radiation exposure. It can happen in several ways. If a patient moves during the test, there is a chance that the shield could slip & block the part of the body which needs to be imaged.
The radiation, when it attempts to go through lead, the electrons absorb & spatter the energy. Ultimately, though, the lead will degrade from the energy it is disclosed to. However, lead is not efficient against all types of radiation.
For those working in medical, veterinary, defense, or nuclear industries, who wear this kind of protective equipment for hours every day, the benefit of switching to lead-free could be life-changing.
Most people wear a thyroid shield on a daily basis, but sadly many of them are not using a thyroid shield that fits correctly. When selecting the right thyroid shield, make sure you choose a lead free thyroid shield that is lightweight, supportive, flexible, stain resistant, and safe for your thyroid. Some thyroid shield styles are meant to wear loosely, and some are meant to wear close to the neck. Try wearing yours both ways to see which is more comfortable for you.