Bullet stop capacity of an x-ray apron?

After one of the mass shooting events my employer had us do a training class on a workplace shooter scenario. Mostly common sense; shelter in place, misdirection, engage only as a last resort. But I work in a hospital and I got to thinking about lead lined aprons, hey, couldn’t hurt, right? But I have no idea how to gauge the effectiveness of one. A quick search show me that there are different types and thicknesses, so let’s keep it to lead and 0.5 mm (the thickest I saw). Thanks

it wouldn’t. pretty much any bullet (even the lowly .22LR) would punch right through that. Soft body armor (which is what most people call “bulletproof vests”) has many layers of aramid (Kevlar) cloth, and they protect by acting as a “net” to keep the bullet from passing through. the bullet still transfers a lot of force to the wearer. Plus, soft body armor is pretty much useless against centerfire rifle rounds.

Well, I wouldn’t have expected much, but surely there’s some attenuation of power, what about shotgun pellets? From a distance?

I don’t know much about projectiles, but common sense tells me that a thin lead lined apron might make the situation much worse - it could fragment under impact, effectively becoming a projectile in itself and much worsening the damage.

You may be right. They’re also somewhat heavy, I wouldn’t want to run in one, for instance.

What size pellets? #8 target shot? Maybe. 00 buck? No way.

I recall that the advice after the recent shooting in Paris was that the best thing to do is run away. Shooters are quite prepared to go looking and will shoot at bodies in case they are playing dead.

Lead, being the softest metal readily available in your hospital scenario, would be a bad choice. I would be surprised if 0.5mm of lead slowed any reasonable bullet measurably. You’d probably be better served by a hardcover book or an panel off of the actual X-ray machine itself.

This. A lead apron will offer scant structural resistance to penetration, and very little mass (because it’s so thin).

Standard advice given in formal “active shooter” training classes is that your choice should be to flee, hide, or fight - in that order. Flee if you possibly can. If you can’t, then hide, but your odds of survival will be lower. If you can’t hide - if the shooter is about to enter your office - get ready to physically assault him. This gives the lowest odds of survival of the three choices, but if you can’t flee or hide, then fighting gives you slightly better odds than cowering in a corner.

I’d imagine a lead lined x-ray type apron MIGHT be of some protection against smaller rebounding shotgun pellets. Or fragments from bullets after they’ve struck something first. The real danger about them would be the wearer having the notion, “Hey, I’m wearing a lead lined apron. I’m bulletproof!” and acting on that.

Let’s do some visualization here. A standard-duty sheet of aluminum foil is about 0.1mm thick. So take five sheets, one on top of the other. Then imagine firing a handgun, rifle or shotgun at them.

I think you’d get more stopping power from the vinyl the apron is made from.

Nobody I know uses lead aprons anyway. Lead has more radiation resistance per unit volume, because it is so dense, but less radiation resistance per unit weight than several other materials. I remember Tin and Bismuth being used for radiation-absorption, and I think lead-equivalent aprons use those materials too.

Thanks all for your replies, it was just something I thought about.

There was never any danger of that, more like my handing it to my pregnant co-worker and saying ‘put this on and get behind me.’

That was the best advice BEFORE Paris. Any knowledgeable active shooter training would have told you: Run, Hide, Flight or as I teach my students - If you hear shooting where do you NOT want to be?

What’s the difference between “run” and “flight?” Or do you mean “fight?” :confused:

Keep your jetpack handy in case an active shooting event occurs.

Yes.you always stand behind the radiographer – it is well known that radiographers are Xray-opaque :slight_smile: *
*Also, that radiographers stand out of the beam leakage direction.