Some animal research includes using X-rays in addition to radioactive material.  This section discusses the safety precautions X-ray machine operators and individuals assisting authorized users in radiographic procedures with the animals must take to prevent and reduce unnecessary exposure to radiation.

For information about precautions with X-Ray machines in ANY workplace, see Radiation-Generating Machines.

Unauthorized Assistants

The following personnel are not allowed to support or hold animal patients during X-ray procedure:

  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals under 18 years of age

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All personnel required to be in controlled radiographic areas must wear an X-ray protective apron.  Optional shielding includes:

  • Leaded glasses
  • Thyroid collars

Positioning or Supporting Animals

To keep personnel exposure to X-rays to a minimum, no person shall routinely support or hold animals or film during an X-ray.  Use the following devices in place of personnel supporting or holding animals:

  • Sandbags
  • V-troughs
  • Slings

If personnel must support or hold an animal during an X-ray procedure, then:

  • Personnel must ensure all body parts remain out of the useful beam
  • Personnel must wear the following PPE to ensure adequate protection from scattered radiation:
    • protective gloves
    • protective apron


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