Do I Need Lead Lining if I Purchase a Portable X-Ray Machine?

Jan 24, 2022 8:30:00 AM / by Melissa Schwab

This is a question that we occasionally get when customers are looking at purchasing a portable x-ray machine. The answer can depend on a number of factors and truly depends on the customer’s specific situation and how they will be using the x-ray machine. 

Portable x-ray machines are designed to move from location to location and not be stationary units. Some portable machines are meant to move from one room to another within a building and some are designed to be more rugged and be transported from site to site. Regardless of the type of portable unit you purchase, if you are keeping the unit in a dedicated room most states will require a physicist report and you may be required to lead line or make modifications to your building to safely accommodate an x-ray machine. This is to safeguard anyone who is on the other side of the room and may inadvertently be repeatedly exposed to radiation if the x-ray is pointed frequently at the same spot when taking images. 

Another thing to consider before purchasing a portable x-ray machine is your state laws may limit situations where the use of a portable x-ray machine is permissible. Before purchasing any x-ray equipment, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with your state's laws and regulations regarding the use of x-ray equipment. You can find this information on most state health department websites. Some states, for example, Virginia, Washington, Nevada, Massachusetts, and soon New York, do not allow you to use a portable x-ray unless it is in an environment where the patient is unable to get access to a stationary x-ray system. A possible example of this situation would be patients on a COVID ward or if a patient is bedridden in a hospital or nursing home.  

To summarize, if you purchase a portable x-ray unit make sure you are aware of the state laws and regulations regarding x-ray equipment use and that you adhere to what is required in your state. If you are allowed in your state to use portable x-ray equipment but are utilizing it in a dedicated room, you should have a physicist report done and install lead in the room where appropriate.

If you have additional questions regarding a portable x-ray system, please let us know.  Feel free to utilize our live chat feature or send us an email at Someone on our team would be happy to assist you.   

Melissa Schwab

Written by Melissa Schwab