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  • How to Dispose of X-Ray Lead Aprons

    A topic that we address on an almost daily basis is "How do I dispose of my old Lead Aprons when they are replaced?"  We realize this is a process that anyone who utilizes Radiation Protection apparel is destined to need to know at some point so we wanted to share the best information we have available.

    Most radiation protection aprons are lead based which does a great job of attenuation radiation but can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of correctly.  Some states have specific regulations or requirements so be sure to confirm what those requirements might be but the following methods are the most common ways of disposal.

    3 Ways to Dispose of your X-Ray Lead Apron

    1. Contact a recycling company:  Some local scrap metal recycling companies have the ability to safely process and/or recycle your lead products so they can be disposed of safely or re-used.
    2. Contact a hazardous waste carrier:  Based on your local regulations a hazardous waste company might be the proper source to dispose of you lead apron.
    3. Landfill:  Consult your local landfill to see if they have the ability to accept your lead aprons.

    When purchasing your next radiation protection apron you might want to consider some of our great non-lead products.  The benefits of these products are lighter weights and easier methods of disposal in the future.  Check out our complete selection of Radiation Protection products.

  • How to Clean a X-Ray Lead Apron

    One of the most popular questions we get is what the proper procedure is to clean a X-Ray Lead Apron.  While this exact procedure may vary slightly between different lead apron manufacturers we would like to provide a couple do's and don't for cleaning your aprons.  As with any high use product the better you take care of your apron the longer it may last and the nicer it will look.

    The Do's:

    • Whenever your apron might come into contact with fluids during normal use or if it is time for is regular cleaning, you will want to clean it with a cold damp cloth.  Do not immerse it in water or under a faucet.
    • A mild detergent may be used such as Scrubbles Lead Apron Cleaner or our Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaners.  Harsh cleaning agents should be avoided as they can damage the fabric of your lead apron possibly voiding the warranty.
    • A soft brush such as a toothbrush can be used to clean soiled areas.
    • Our Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaners can be used for disinfecting purposes.

    The Don'ts:

    • Do not us an autoclave to clean a X-Ray Lead Apron.
    • Do not launder a X-Ray Lead Apron.
    • Do not soak or submerge your apron in water.  Only use a damp cloth or soft brush.
    • Bleach and other harsh chemicals can damage the fabric of your apron and shorten the life.  These should be avoided.
    • Always hang your apron on an appropriate Lead Apron Rack for storage an avoid folding the apron to avoid cracks in the lead surfaces.

    As always we are here to help you with any of your x-ray accessory needs including a wide variety of styles colors and designs of x-ray lead aprons including select styles in-stock for immediate shipping.  Check out our selection of protective x-ray apparel.

  • Fuji HR-T X-Ray Film Discontinued

    Fuji HRT Discontinued

    As the medical imaging community continues to migrate from analog products to digital equipment we continue to see changes in the product offerings from all of the x-ray film manufacturers. X-ray film manufacturers are making these changes to ensure they are offering the needed products for the remaining analog film users. One of the most recent changes was made by Fuji Film Corp. with the elimination of their HRT line of film. HRT was a high contrast film that catered mostly to the hospital imaging market. With the near depletion of that market the decision was made to end the manufacturing of HRT film. For customers using HRT they will need to switch to the HRU line of general purpose radiography film. Both products are green film and both offer a 400 speed system in a regular green screen. This will eliminate the need to adjust techniques when converting from HRT to HRU. The HRU will have slightly less contrast than the HRT and is slightly less expensive than the HRT. We will continue to monitor these market changes and pass them on as needed.

  • Anti-Reflective Coating for Barrier Technologies X-Ray Lead Glasses

    What it is:
    Anti-reflective coating (called AR coating for short, or anti-glare coating)
    A clear layer applied to one or both sides of a lens during the manufacturing process.

    What it does:
    Improves both your vision and the appearance of your lenses.
    *When viewed from an angle, AR lenses will appear to have a green or gold tint.
    *Lenses with AR coating applied are easier to clean and harder to smudge.
    *Our “premium” AR coating contains a “hydrophobic” layer on top of the AR. This will make water or other liquids bead up and run off the surface and makes the lenses even more smudge resistant.

    Improves vision clarity by allowing more light into the eye.
    As light passes through a lens, both the front and back sides of the lens will reflect a percentage of that light as it comes in. Also, this reflected light can be problematic as it causes glare when it bounces off.

    Our Corning Med-X glass lenses will reflect more light than those typical eyewear materials as it has a higher index of refraction. Our lenses will reflect about 15% or more light coming in before it even gets to the wearers eye. This is almost double that of typical eyewear.

    AR coating for Barrier Technologies Lead Glasses allows almost all of that would-be reflected light to come into the eye. What that translates to the wearer is much clearer, sharper vision and more vibrant color.

    Reduces or eliminates reflections
    In general, the higher the index of refraction of the lens, the more light will be reflected from the surface. *The index of refraction on our corning Med-X lenses is 1.76, which is significantly higher than commonly used eyeglass materials such as CR-39 with a 1.498 index, or Polycarbonate at an index of 1.586. Therefore it is strongly recommended that all Barrier Technologies leaded eyewear have AR coating applied to them.
    In particular for those whose intended use is in a healthcare setting such as a hospital or surgery center.

  • Have You Tried Our Artifact-Free X-Ray Sponges Yet?

    If you've noticed a theme in our radiology accessories, you've probably noticed that it's our goal to offer products that improve upon our industry's standards and provide solutions to problems that plague technologists on a daily basis. From the beginning, our aim is to solve problems and one of the best examples of this is our innovative line of positioning sponges that have been a game changer since their recent unveiling. We're talking about our radiolucent Stealth-Cote and Stealth-Core sponges which represent a giant leap forward in positioning sponge technology. If you haven't tried these amazing accessories yet, let us take this time to give you a little background on why they're going to make such dramatic difference in your daily work life.

    Radiology Sponge

    3 Reasons You'll Love These Sponges

    First, they're completely radiolucent. Older sponges leave behind artifacts which can lead to repeat testing, adding more work for you and more worry for your patient. With Stealth-Cote sponges, radiologists are going to love the images you provide. The second reason is that they are easy to clean. There's no need in taking the extra step of covering the sponge in plastic. Other sponges (especially non-coated sponges) are easily stained and need more intensive cleaning. This isn't a problem with these radiology positioning sponges, which make sanitizing quick and easy. The third benefit of these sponges is the superior level of stability they provide during imaging procedures. Due to the sturdiness of the materials they're manufactured with and their wide base, you'll ensure a level of stability that you just won't find in those outdated positioning sponges.

    How We Did It

    By experimenting with the dimensions of the conventional radiology sponges, we found a way to manufacture a solution that still allowed technologists to perform imaging procedures in the way they've become accustomed to without the line artifacts that are typically left behind. With these dimensions, you can still use the sponges at the angles you need without losing any stability. In addition to the dimensions, we chose the perfect materials for making these completely radiolucent positioning sponges.

    Radiology Sponge

    Of all the radiology accessories that will make your life a little easier, this is one you simply cannot pass up. Try these amazing x-ray sponges and you’ll find that your images are clearer and your time is used more efficiently. Don’t waste any more time with those outdated positioning sponges of the past. Upgrade your inventory today and come learn more about these amazing radiology positioning aids.

  • Fuji RXU X-Ray Film to be Discontinued

    Fuji Film Co. recently announced the end of production for their RXU Half Speed Blue x-ray film. If you are using the RXU x-ray film in a Blue system you can switch to the Carestream CSB.5 without any change in the speed of your system. RXU has the unique capability to work in either Green or Blue systems so Z&Z Medical sold this product as a Half Speed Blue x-ray film and as a High Speed Green x-ray film. If you were using the RXU in a Green system the Carestream CSB.5 will NOT work in your system. Z&Z Medical will not allow the return of opened boxes of x-ray film and will NOT be liable for customers trying the CSB.5 x-ray film in their Green system. Green system alternative films will be Fuji HRT, HRU or Carestream CSG. All of these products will cause your film speed to drop about 33% therefore you will need to increase your MAS 33%. If you are using the RXU film with Green Regular screens you can purchase Green Fast screens and achieve the same film speed.

    If you are unsure of the color output of your system you can call Z&Z Medical at 800-410-9575 with the name of your intensifying screens and we will determine the color output for you. You can also perform this simple test: remove the film from your cassette. Place your opened cassettes where the screen can be exposed to radiation from your x-ray equipment and you can see the screen. Set your system for a long exposure time and then turn the light down or off in the x-ray room. Expose the screen and watch for it to glow during exposure. Green systems will put off a green light and Blue systems will put off a blue light. If you have any questions or need help with this transition please feel free to contact us at 800-410-9575.

    View our selection of X-Ray Film

    View our selection of Replacement X-Ray Cassettes

  • How to Clean and Care for your Techno-Aide Lead Aprons


    We all know that in a medical environment, it is easy for protective apparel nylon fabrics to become dirty and soiled from blood, bodily fluids, betadine, barium, and other fluids.


    • Techno-Aide recommends cleaning with cold water and a mild detergent to remove all immediate contacts with fluids.
    • 409 Spray can be used to clean the surgace fabric and remove dust and dirt from your garment.
    • To disinfect your garment, Techno-Aide recommends the use of disinfectant wipes such as PDI Sani-Cloth Germicidal Wipes Cat# GWP-P55.  Allow a drying time of at least 4 minutes.



    • Do not use Bleach or any harsh chemicals on your garment.
    • Do not autoclave
    • Do not soak/submerse garment in water.
    • Do not launder.


    Radiation protective apparel is sometimes inadvertently damaged when not properly handled or stored.  Instructing users on how to properly take care of these garments can help ensure that your garments provide optimal protection and reduce the number of defective garments that has to be discarded.  The following guidelines may be used to help achieve this goal.


    • Before use, inspect garments for defects, tears, perforations, creases.
    • When not in use, store your apron properly on a rack or peg that is made specifically for radiation protective apparel storage.



    • Don't expose your garment to extreme temperatures of hot or cold or to direct sunlight.
    • Do not wad, crease or fold your Lead Apron.
    • Do not drop on the floor.
    • Do not lean against sharp edges or objects with sharp points.
    • Do not store sharp objects in the pockets.
    • Do not sit on your apron or stack/store items on top of your apron.
    • Do not store an apron over the edge of a chair or equipment.
    • Secure hook and loop closures to prevent snagging and tearing of apparel fabric.

    Failure to adhere to the above recommendations will shorten the life of your Lead Apron, promote cracking, and will possibly void your warranty.  Techno-Aide provides a two year warranty on workmanship and materials for their protective apparel garments.



    Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lead is included in the Toxic substance list.  It should not be disposed of as conventional garbage bus as hazardous wast.  Coordinate with the radiation control officer in your organization who is responsible for disposal of such wastes.  Techno-Aide recycles only Techno-Aide Manufactured aprons.

    If you have any questions regarding your Techno-Aide Radiation Protection Apparel Purchase, please contact Z&Z Medical at 1-800-410-9575 or info@zzmedical.com.

  • It's All About The Nervous System

    X-Ray Grid

    Written by: Dr. Kyle Troyer, DC, Upper Cervical Health Center, Cedar Falls, IA

    As a specific Upper Cervical Chiropractor, focusing on the upper cervical spine (atlas and axis), I meet a lot of people with pain issues throughout the spine.  Many times we find out through a systems check in a history there are other issues too, like digestive problems, asthma, trouble sleeping, etc.  Many times people are surprised that they may actually be related to each other.  The answer is that it’s all about the nervous system!

    I’d like to share a story with you about you that you may have forgotten.  Your body is a self-healing organism!  We all know that to be true, as we watch before our eyes cuts and wounds heal from the inside out.  Well, that happens on the inside too with fractures of bone, stomach ulcers, even after surgeries!  How this happens is the most important part of the story.

    Your brain, brainstem, spinal cord, and spinal nerves make up your nervous system.  The brain and brainstem send out messages over this intricate telecommunications system out to all the cells in your body, telling them what to do and how to heal.  The cells (all 70 trillion of them, give or take a few!) receive these healing messages, do the work, and communicate back to the brain a “status update.” Once the brain and brainstem hear what’s going on, they respond in kind with new instructions and on and on.  This is the cycle of healing and function. As long as there is an unimpeded flow of communication through your body, guess how well your body can work?  That’s right, just the way you were designed to: perfectly!

    The next part of the story is the casing for the nervous system, which is the spinal column.  You have 24 stackable vertebrae on top of each other, with a hole down the middle.   The hole is where the spinal cord goes through, and as it travels down your spine the nerves come off as branches, leading to different body organs.  As long as the spine is lined up and flexible, the nerve flow is unimpeded and we’ve already decided that health is the result.  The issue, particularly in our Clinic, is what happens at the atlas and axis (Upper Cervical spine, or the top two bones of the neck).

    spinal cord

    full spineWhen one of these vertebrae slip off center, even a millimeter, they can put pressure on the nerve signals trying to get through.  This is like a kink in the hose up by the house.  You have to unkink the hose before the flowers can get water!  The upper part of the spinal cord and lower part of the brain stem are protected by these two vertebra and if they are getting squeezed, you lose signal to different parts of the body.  The result over time is less than optimal health.

    The goal, if health is our desired outcome, needs to be to start with a healthy nervous system.  That’s where people like me come in.  The whole purpose of Chiropractic is to clear the nervous system of pressure so your incredibly designed body can function the way it’s intended, withoutdrugs or surgery.  These things are necessary in trauma and crisis situations, but over the long term it’s important to know that true health can only come from the Inside-Out.  We have sensitive instrumentation to measure if there is nerve pressure and then take X-rays to see the exact misalignment before making any corrections.  As we keep the pressure OFF the nervous system, the body is able to communicate the healthy messages to and from the body and things just work better!  As you’ve now figured out, in specific Upper Cervical Chiropractic, it’s not really about the spine but it is all about the nervous system!

  • X-Ray Grids

    What is an x-ray grid and why do you need to use one?  To make it simple a grid is a device used to improve the contrast and image quality of the radiographic image.  As the x-ray beam enters the body and strikes bone and tissue it produces what is called scatter radiation.  Scatter radiation is x-ray and does expose film but generally is undesired x-ray and shows up as noise and causes a blurring of the x-ray image.  The best way to prevent this unintended result of scatter radiation is to remove or block it.  This is where the grid comes in to place.  The x-ray grid has the job of blocking scatter radiation. It accomplishes this by absorbing the scatter radiation before it reaches the x-ray film or digital capture device.  To block or absorb scatter radiation small thin lead strips are placed a long side each other inside  a radio-translucent material.  These lead strips absorb and block a majority of the scatter.  Once the scatter is removed it can no longer reach the x-ray cassette therefore allowing only primary radiation to reach the x-ray cassette and expose the x-ray film which gives a cleaner image with much more contrast.  Some situations where the use of a x-ray grid would be recommended is when using more than 70 kVp since higher radiation causes more scatter, when the anatomy is more than 12 cm thick and in a chest radiograph of patients who measure more than 24 cm around.  When selecting a x-ray grid there are four things to consider before purchasing one, LPI, Focal Distance, Grid Ratio & Grid Type.  Listed below is a brief description of each.

    LPI - Line pairs per inch also referred to as Grid Frequency.  Line pairs per inch refers to the number of lead strips placed next to each other every inch or centimeter.  Typical grid LPI’s are 103, 178, or 200.  When using a stationary grid with CR, it is recommended to use no fewer than 178 LPI to reduce the appearance of grid lines in the image.  Grid lines appear in CR because the parallel grid lines match up with the scan pattern of the laser in the CR reader.  By using a higher LPI you reduce the chance of the laser scan rate matching the grid pattern.

    Focal Distance – The lead strips inside the grid are angled to point at the x-ray tube which only allow the primary rays of the beam to penetrate to the film or digital capture device.  The focal distance is a point where the angle of these strips if extended into space would meet.  Typical focal distances are 40”, 72” and ranges of 34”-44”, & 40”-72”.  For maximum penetration of the primary beam through the grid you should only use a grid within the listed focal range.  By doing this you avoid grid cutoff (blocking of the primary beam) and penetration issues.

    Grid Ratio – The effectiveness of a grid to absorb scatter radiation is determined by the grid ratio.  The grid ratio is the ratio of the height of the lead strip to the distance between the strips.  This is expressed as a ratio such as 6:1, 8:1, 10:1 and 12:1.  The higher the ratio the more scatter radiation is removed which improves image contrast.  By using higher grid ratios it will require a higher dose and more precise centering of the x-ray beam in order to penetrate the grid properly.  Several factors should be considered when selecting the right grid ratio.  Although grids with higher ratios eliminate more scatter, they tend to require higher dose which increases patient exposure and they require more precise positioning to prevent grid cutoff.  The advantages of a 6:1 grid are that it requires a lower dose and is easy to position.  Its use must be limited to situations in which the amount of scatter radiation is small (thin body parts, low kVp) or in which maximum image contrast is not necessary.  Many times a grid between these two extremes is more desirable.  Such grids generally represent a compromise between image quality, patient exposure and ease of positioning.

    Grid Type – There are two types of x-ray grids, standard and decubitus.  In standard grids the lead strips run parallel to the long dimension of the grid.  This is standard and used for most examinations.  In decubitus grids the lead strips run parallel to the short dimension of the grid.  Generally decubitus grids are used when the cassette has to be turned 90 degrees in order to image patients with large body frames, for cross table work and for portable studies.

    X-Ray GridX-Ray Grid

  • Portable Blanket Warmers For Medical Use

    Here we are in the middle of a very cold, very snowy winter and I get the inspiration to write an article on portable blanket warmers. Do you think there is any correlation there? This winter has not been very kind to those of us in the upper mid west. It seems staying warm is on the minds of everyone I meet these days. When I ask my wife what our plans are for the evening her standard response is "sit by the fire." What is it about warmth that is so comforting and soothing to our bodies?

    I remember on a trip to Honolulu in 2006 we stayed at a hotel owned by a Japanese company. This hotel has a custom of offering their guests hot damp wash clothes at the front desk when they check in. I did not particularly feel a need to wipe my hands and face at the time. Rather than offending my host I obliged. I was amazed at how relaxing that warm wash cloth felt on my face.

    I remember another time as I was being prepped for surgery in the OR. A nurse placed a warm blanket over my entire body. I wasn't cold before she did this but that warm blanket provided a calming presence for me that I cannot explain. So this made me ask the question "What is the effect of heat on the healing process?"

    Healthcare professionals tell us that uncomfortable patients do not heal as quickly. Their treatments are far less effective. Many studies have proved that warmth to the body can greatly enhance patient comfort and the healing process. As I stated earlier, heat promotes the relaxation of our bodies and it works as a pain reliever. One of the main goals of the healing process is to increase blood flow to the area of trauma or illness. Heat causes increased blood flow in our bodies which increases our blood oxygen levels. This aids in tissue functions. All of these benefits are very essential to the healing process.

    Traditionally warm blankets have been used in the OR, the ER, for dialysis patients and chemotherapy patients. With the advent of portable blanket warmers the healthcare industry is finding new and unique areas for this technology. Hospital blanket warmers used to be large, expensive industrial pieces of equipment. The size of these warmers limited where they could be used. The cost limited how many a facility could afford. The small size and low cost of portable blanket warmers allows medical facilities to place blanket warmers in more locations. This means more patients get to benefit from this technology.

    These portable blanket warmers are a bag style warmer, similar to the technology used in mobile pizza warmers. They are FDA approved for use in medical facilities. Now a blanket warmer can be an investment of a just few hundred dollars and can sit on a shelf. Multiple port AC adapters allow for up to six warmers to use a single electrical connection. Portable blanket warmers are simple to operate. Thermostatically controlled they maintain a constant temperature of 160-175 degrees. The portable blanket warmers come in various sizes. This allows you to heat as few as two blankets or as many as eight. Their portability allows the units to easily be transported between various departments. Soiled blanket warmers can be washed in a commercial washer. These are just some of their many benefits.

    This technology has also allowed warm blankets to go mobile. Since the portable blanket warmers operate on 12 volt DC power they are becoming standard equipment in many EMS vehicles. We all know that the best way to prevent shock is to wrap the victim in a blanket. Think of the added benefit a patient will receive from a warm blanket. Warm blankets can be very helpful in trauma cases with multiple victims. EMS personnel can cover less serious victims with a warm blanket to help stabilize them. Then they can care for patients with more life threatening injuries.

    Time is of the essence in hypothermia trauma cases. The longer a hypothermia victim remains in a cold environment, the less their chances of survival are. In a 2005 Flint, MI ice rescue it was reported that warm blankets saved a woman's life. EMS personnel used warm blankets to raise the patients core body temperature while transporting her to the hospital. The patients core body temperature was raised from the low eighties to 95.1 degrees F by the time she arrived at the hospital.

    Remember that hypothermia is not just a winter time or northern climate problem. There are many documented cases of summertime hypothermia. Victims of boating accidents can suffer the effects of hypothermia. People caught outside in rainstorms without proper protection are also at risk. Any water cool enough to pull the heat out of your body can bring on hypothermia.

    Portable blanket warmer technology has become a very useful tool for the healthcare industry. I think we're still at the tip of the iceberg (no pun intended) with this technology. I believe that the longer this technology is around the more uses medical personnel will find for it.

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