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[filmscanners] Re: X rays was Digital PIC

The fundamental issue with regard to X-Ray intensity is that the equipment
at the gate has to be limited to what the operators can be exposed to with
reasonable safety (remembering that they serve complete shifts, day after
day, in that gate environment!). Unless the operators act like dental
technicians, and are clad in lead lined garments or aprons, the levels
usable at the gates must be safe for film. For that matter, at least in the
US & Canada, the prospects of serious litigation from pregnant passengers
has to limit the gate exposure. Checked baggage, which has no such
limitation, can be deadly. Never place unprocessed film in your checked

At 02:35 AM 04/02/2002 -0800, you wrote:
>I have taken the liberty of quoting some of the extensive information on
>the Kodak web site regarding X-Rays and what can be done during travel,
>and a new threat called "serialization" equipment being used by some US
>postal Services, which can apparently not only damage film, but also
>digital cameras, CCDs, CD-Rs etc.  (Gee, great news, eh?)
>I've edited this down from a number of web pages, and so it isn't
>exactly as it appears on the Kodak site, but the text is Copyright of
>Kodak.  The web site www.kodak.com (and use the search engine: X-Ray
>Damage) has photo examples of different types of X-ray and other damage.
>   Some of those check-in baggage machines really do in film in as little
>as one scan.  As an example the "Examiner 3DX 6000" unit almost
>completely whites out a 400 ASA/ISO film in one pass.
>I hope no one flips because this is somewhat off topic.
>   If you're going to be traveling through multiple X-ray examinations
>(more than 5 times), request a hand search of your carry-on baggage. FAA
>regulations in the U.S. allow for a hand search of photographic film and
>equipment if requested. (See Note below for further FAA information.)
>However, non-US airports may not honor this request.
>* If you're asked to step aside for a more thorough search of your
>carry-on baggage, you should be advised that film could be harmed and
>you should take it out of your luggage.
>Incidentally, the FAA provides air travelers in the United States the
>right to request a non-X-ray inspection of photo-sensitive products in
>"(e) No certificate holder may use an X-ray system to inspect carry-on
>or checked articles unless a sign is posted in a conspicuous place at
>the screening station and on the X-ray system which notifies passengers
>that such items are being inspected by an X-ray and advises them to
>remove all X-ray, scientific, and high-speed film from carry-on and
>checked articles before inspection. This sign shall also advise
>passengers that they may request that an inspection be made of their
>photographic equipment and film packages without exposure to an X-ray
>system. If the X-ray system exposes any carry-on or checked articles to
>more than 1 milliroentgen during the inspection, the certificate holder
>shall post a sign which advises passengers to remove film of all kinds
>from their articles before inspection. If requested by passengers, their
>photographic equipment and film packages shall be inspected without
>exposure to an X-ray system."
>Carry-on baggage inspection conveyors using low intensity x-rays, used
>at security checkpoints in US airports, usually do not affect film.
>However, these machines may now be supplemented in some cases by high
>intensity machines that will fog all unprocessed film. Travelers should
>be wary of all scanners at foreign airports.
>Travelers should politely insist on hand-inspection of their film. Carry
>a changing bag for use by the inspector. Demonstrate how it is used,
>with a can of fogged film as an example. However, there is no guarantee
>that your request will be granted by local inspectors, who may insist on
>x-ray inspection. Hand inspection may not be permitted in some airports
>outside the US.
>X rays from airport scanners don't affect digital camera images or film
>that has already been processed, i.e. film from which you have received
>prints, slides, KODAK PHOTO CD Discs, or KODAK PICTURE CD Discs.
>The United States Postal Service is installing new equipment to
>sterilize items sent through the mail. For security reasons, they are
>not disclosing whether this process will be limited to letters, or if
>parcels and other packages will also be included.
>Until further tests are conducted, it would be wise to assume that the
>high energy beams used in the sterilization equipment will fog or damage
>all film - processed or unprocessed, exposed or unexposed, negative or
>print. In addition, photographic prints, slides, DVDs, picture CDs,
>CD-ROMs, video tapes and even the CCD sensors in video cameras and other
>products may be affected. Because those materials often contain valuable
>- and sometimes, irreplaceable, images - Kodak recommends that you err
>on the side of caution until more information is available.
>All imaging materials should be sent via a courier or an express air
>shipping company that does not use the US postal system. Local
>laboratories may have additional information and/or offer alternative
>shipping arrangements.
>David Hoffman wrote:
> > At 5:01 -0800 1/4/02, Arthur Entlich wrote:
> >
> >>X-Ray damage is cumulative, so while one or
> >>two times may not be visible, 3, 4 or more might well be
> >>
> >
> > True. But tests in the UK have repeatedly failed to show any X-ray
> > damage even on multiple (I think 16 was the max) passes with MODERN
> > European machines. Maybe someone recalls the details? The Association
> > of Photographers & British Journal of Photography were involved & the
> > tests pretty thorough.
> >
> > My own experience (not shooting delicate tonal work, just reportage)
> > has been of no problems with modern machines (& successful evasion of
> > South American film friers).
> >
> > David Hoffman
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