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RE: filmscanners: X-ray scanners/etc

Comments inserted in redacted version of earlier messages below.

At 11:20 AM 11/27/2001 -0600, you wrote:
>>But they grumbled about how I should have a lead lined pouch.
>Sort of funny in a way.  I fail to see how a lead lined bag would help
>matters since it would prevent the film from being x-rayed and would
>necessitate a hand check anyway.  How would that be any different that
>putting the film in a baggie and asking for the hand check straight out?  

I routinely carry my film in lead lined bags and have found that only about one 
security check in 10 will result in a hand search.  In addition, 1-2 out of ten 
result in a question from the screener "film?" and a nod OK when you say yes.  
The majority of the time a camera bag with 200 rolls of film in lead lined 
pouches, 6-8 camera bodies and 5-6 lenses just zips right through the X-ray 
scanner without so much as a raised eyebrow by the screener.   This may change 
after 09/11 but I will bet it changes to a hand check being required perhaps 
3-4 times out of ten.  The big difference is that if you put the film in a 
baggie, ask for a hand check and it is refused, your film must go through the 
scanner with NO protection.  

Just another  comment about lead lined bags and X-ray scanner intensity.  It is 
true that SOME but by no means all these scanners do increase the X-ray dosage 
slightly (it still must be very low for health safety reasons) if the scanner 
sees opaque objects.  However, camera bodies and lenses are dense enough to 
create this response, so putting your film in a lead lined bag does not 
actually result in higher X-ray intensity than would otherwise be used on a 
camera bag with both cameras and film inside.

>really think that you and others have run into instances of bureaucratic
>ritualism and pragmatism which holds that you follow the rules to the letter
>at any cost even if it is impractical so as to make your life easier, your
>work more routine and standardized with less problems, and you have the
>security of knowing that your ass is covered.
Yes, but the bureaucratic response in this case is to insist on breaking the 
rules.  Yes, I know the requirement to hand check film on request is about as 
binding a law as our road speed limits, but a screener who refuses a hand check 
is, in fact, violating not enforcing the rules.



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