Lead aprons protect the technicians 'as well as patients' organs and glands during exposure to medical radiation such as X-Rays. Under OSHA regulations, each organization must regularly inspect their lead aprons for cracks and tears to prevent X-ray exposure. Like any regulated heavy metal, disposal of lead aprons can be complicated and time consuming. Companies have initiated offering Lead Apron Recycling Programs, some of which have been designed and implemented to not only be cost effective services, but the best are most importantly safe and simple methods for users to recycle their old worn-out aprons.
Like mercury, lead is a highly toxic toxic metal. When materials containing lead are not recycled properly, the heavy metal can and will leach into ground water. Overtime, lead bio-accumulates in plants and animals, historically causing animals farther up the food chain to also become affected when the smaller afflicted prey is consumed, thereby further increasing lead concentrations.
When lead, in any of its forms, enter the blood stream it is highly toxic. Symptoms of lead exposure ordinarily manifest themselves after the heavy metal has had time to accumulate in the body. In both humans and animals, after sufficient amounts of lead have accumulated in the body, lead poisoning generally begin to manifest in the forms of anemia, weakness, constipation, colic, palsy, and often even paralysis of the wrists and ankles. Ingestion of elevated levels of lead can cause IQ deficiencies, reading and learning disabilities, reduced attention spans, impaired hearing and impaired balance. Lead is now known to increase blood pressure at concentration levels once thought to be safe.
Furthermore, young animals and children are at a higher risk from lead pollution, and are usually the first to beginning displaying symptoms of lead poisoning. It is argued that the reason (s) are at such an elevated level of risk, opposed to that of adults, of illness and / or death from lead poisoning, is because the vital organs of the young have yet to fully mature, and are therefore before to illness by less accumulated lead in their system. Simply put, if an adult and an adolescent consume proportionately the same amount of contaminated sustenance by volume. Over time, as the lead begins to accumulate in each of their systems, the adolescent will show signs of lead poisoning first and will suffer the most harm.
In an effort to help stem and hopefully reduce pollution caused by heavy metals, such as lead, one company I have read about has recently started offering a mail back lead apron recycling program . The Lead Apron Recycling Service provided seemingly a convenient and environmentally safe solution to recycle lead-based materials, and they also claim to be one of the leading national provider of Mail Back Systems for the disposal and recycling of Sharps, Medical Waste, Lead Foil, Amalgam and Dental Amalgam, Mercury, as well as many others. For those interested in learning more about these mail back services check the resource box of this article.