Darkroom Introduction and Design
X-ray films are sensitive require particular care in handling and storage at a place without white light to keep away from unintended exposures. Centre. In the recent past, however, modern daylight film processing methods and LASER imaging are gradually replacing darkrooms. The primary objectives of a darkroom include optimum film handling and storage conditions, conducive working conditions for the handlers of the film, and to ensure efficient productivity for the equipment
The location of the darkroom should centrally place in a dedicated radiology zone. It should connect with adjacent imaging rooms using cassette hatches to keep radiation from spreading. The darkroom should have a lot of water and electricity access. It should also be near a viewing and sorting area to ease the operation (NCRP., 2003).
The darkroom has four sections, an area to load and unload cassettes, film store, processing equipment and other crucial accessories to the process. A well-constructed and planned should have separate wet and dry working areas as well as a clearly sequenced order of work.
A busy darkroom with a technician should be at least 10m2. The ceiling dimensions should range between 2.5 to 3 meters but not exceed 3.3 meters (Kim & Suh, 2007). The design should be rectangular instead of square to separate wet and dry workspaces. The wall should have bright color paint preferably white. They reflect more light and increase the brightness of a room. Operating machines are kept a distance from walls to keep air circulating and prevent overheating.
The storage room for films should be insulated properly to protect the staff from radiation. 25 mm or 1-inch layer of barium plasters containing both fine and rough barium sulfate is an excellent insulator. A brick wall not less than 225mm would also provide ideal conditions. The floors should be corrosion resistant, non-porous or absorbent and easy to clean. Darkroom door designs should allow entry and exit without flooding the room with white light.
NCRP.,. (2003). Structural Shielding Design For Medical X-Ray Imaging Facilities. Bethesda: NCRP Report No. 147.
Kim, S. & Suh, T. (2007). World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering 2006. Berlin: Springer.