Healthcare professionals who work in the medical imaging area of healthcare run the risk of developing cancer as a result of their prolonged exposure to high energy radiation. To prevent this from happening, the technician will often separate themselves from the patient's room by stepping into a separate control room to initiate the radiation scan. The walls of this room are lined with lead, which serves as a protective barrier between themselves and the radiation.
Patients sometimes are asked to wear lead-lined vests or headgear, depending on the type of radiation treatment required. Precautions are taken not to overexpose certain parts of the body that are not taking an active part of the radiation treatment. For example, dental scans require a lead vest for the trunk of the patient's body, as the x-ray scan will most likely be that of a problematic tooth in the head area. There is no need to subject the rest of the body to radiation that might initiate cancerous cell growth.