Protective lead aprons, gloves, and shields must be checked at least annually for defects such as holes, cracks, and tears. The first check should be a visual inspection of the equipment. Fluoroscopy or radiography may be used only after the visual inspection indicates a potential problem.  If a significant defect is found, the item must be removed from service until repaired. A record of these check must be maintained.

  • All lead PPE must be uniquely identified
  • Protective aprons should be stored or draped to prevent cracks.  Ideally, they should be hung by the shoulder(s) or stored on an approved apron hanger.  Aprons should never be folded or creased, which may case cracks to develop in the lead.



  • Verify the PPE item is labelled with a unique identifier.
  • Lay the garment on a table.  Perform a visual and physical inspection for defects such as tears, perforations, voids or thinning creases.  Fluoroscopy and radiology shall only be used for checking lead if this visual and manual check indicates a potential problem.
  • Immediately remove defective lead PPE from service.
  • Log results of all inspection on the PPE Inspection Log Sheet


Indications that a garment is unacceptable

  • Voids larger than about 1.5cm^2 (about half the size of a dime)
  • Loss or thinning of shielding material visible under fluoroscopy
  • Failure of fastening devices
  • Any other issue that causes the evaluator to deem the garment unacceptable.


In the case of item being deemed unacceptable and pulled from use, the garment is marked “DO NOT USE” and removed from use areas, and placed in CT storage. Use the OSU EH&S Hazardous Waste Pickup Request to arrange for pickup and proper disposal. Lead is a hazardous material and must be appropriately disposed of. Before pickup of hazardous waste, a hazardous waste label must be placed with the garment.  Labels are available on the EH&S waste page.