Lead Lined Doors for Healthcare Facilities Guide

When designing buildings for the healthcare industry, you need to understand the complex needs of doctors and nurses along with stringent building codes and standards. In many cases, lead-lined doors are a necessity in healthcare facilities, where they shield patients and medical providers from radiation produced by X-ray machines and other imaging equipment.

This guide explains why and where to specify lead-lined doors with radiation protection in healthcare projects, and the design options available.

What Healthcare and Other Buildings Require Lead Lined Doors?

When it comes to lead lined doors, also known as radiation shielded doors, think beyond hospitals. Radiation protection in doors and walls could be required in clinics, imaging centers, dental offices, physical therapy and chiropractic practices, and even veterinary hospitals. Outside of healthcare buildings, lead lined doors also have applications in research labs, defense environments or even airports. Reference the building codes your project falls under to see if its design needs radiation protection.

Radiation Protection Requirements in Healthcare Buildings

While X-rays and gamma rays provide an important medical tool, prolonged or repeated exposure to these waves causes harm to the body at a cellular level. However, the lead found in radiation shielded doors is extremely dense, even more so than iron or concrete, which allows it to block radiation even in relatively thin sheets. Lead actually absorbs the energy from X-rays or gamma rays and releases it as heat, dissipating it harmlessly.

A lead lined door contains a sheet of lead that is 1/32″, 1/16″, or 1/8 thick, situated inside a mineral or wood core. The edges and astragals are also lead lined. Leaded glass may be used for lites, as well. The specifications of lead lined doors are listed in the manufacturer’s technical product data sheets. Confirm there whether the doors you plan to order meet all necessary standards for radiation protection.The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) dictates standards for protection against radiation. Their Report No. 147 makes recommendations for incorporating structural shielding, such as lead lined doors, in facilities that use X-rays for medical imaging. The report includes the type and thickness required of barrier structures. As a requirement, any door meant to protect against radiation should bear a label with its lead thickness.

Lead Lined Hospital Door Cross Section.

Design Options for Lead Lined Commercial Doors

Some people assume that lead lined doors have to be made of steel, but wood doors can be built with lead cores, too. Flush wood doors with clean edges are a common choice in healthcare settings, since they are easy to clean and sterilize. Radiation shielded doors are also available in a large selection of wood veneers and factory finishes. Lead lined mineral cores can also come fire-rated for 45 or 60 minutes.

Other Considerations for Healthcare Doors

Of course, radiation protection is just one element of healthcare doors. You may also need them to reduce noise transfer, support a sterile environment, and handle heavy use. The right choices directly impact patient recovery. With Masonite Architectural, you can find all the doors you need for various appearances and performance specifications to complete your next healthcare design project.
Nurse in a doctors office with lead lined doors.

Lead Lined Doors from Masonite Architectural

Masonite Architectural recognizes the competitive nature of healthcare projects and the role budgets play in door selection. Our manufacturing process supports efforts to be more competitive on price while delivering top quality and aesthetics.

Masonite Aspiro lead lined doors are available with select wood veneers, high pressure decorative laminates, and medium density overlays. Aspiro high-impact doors are also available with lead radiation shielding. Explore the Aspiro product series to find doors with exceeding aesthetic and performance qualities for your healthcare building.