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ami Dec 12th, 2002 04:59 PM

Careful with FILMS in Airports
Just read an item in Consumer Report Magazine, about new, much more powerful security X-Ray machines in airport, that will destroy your unpocessed films.<BR><BR>They say you better keep all films in your handbag, which will be exposed to much weaker X-Rays.

mike Dec 12th, 2002 05:03 PM

Indeed, DO NOT pack film in checked in luggage. Carry ALL film in your carry- on. Should be good to 1600ASA; i've never had any problems w/400ASA in my carry-on. M.

Howard Dec 12th, 2002 06:12 PM

I don't mean to sound rude, ami, but this was the case even before the new equipment was put into place. I'd say that Consumer Reports is a little late with its warning!

janis Dec 12th, 2002 06:17 PM

Good advice - BUT that has been the case for anyone traveling outside the USA for years. Now it simply applies to domestic flights too.<BR><BR>Never, NEVER put film in checked bags. Any film except the very fastest speeds will be fine in carry-on.

tjc Dec 13th, 2002 06:59 PM

My last two rolls of ASA 800 have been thru security check points in my carry on; had them developed, and the pictures have red streaks thru them. <BR>Photo place says it's the airport xrays causing the streaks.<BR>This past weekend in San Francisco I handed the roll of film to the TSA agent and he opened the container and handed it to me after I passed thru check point. I'll see if this eliminates the streaks.

Michael Dec 13th, 2002 07:11 PM

It is said that the effects are cumulative and that the film should not pass through the X-ray machines more than 4 times. TJC was lucky. I was denied a handcheck in SF even though I vigorously protested, but graciously granted one in Chicago on my way back. A lead lined bag might be the solution, forcing a hand check.

Marilyn Dec 13th, 2002 10:34 PM

We have never been refused a hand check for film 800 or higher. But security did make us separate it from the slower speed film which had to go through the xray machine. And I'm pretty sure they consider it your problem if the film has gone through several machines previously. Although this can be very hard to avoid on a multi-stop trip.

Myer Dec 14th, 2002 05:07 AM

Why not just use a film bag and forget the problem of fighting with them.<BR><BR>Also, according to U.S. regulations, you are entitled to ask for and receive a visual check for film.<BR><BR>A while ago someone indicated the regulation # and where to get it. I printed out about 20 pages of regulations and found it.<BR><BR>In May I used a film bag for a trip to Europe. I got on planes in Miami, London, Rome and London again. I was never asked to open my carry-on. I was under the impression that a film bag causes a black hole in the x-ray. That should have caused questions.<BR><BR>Does my film bag do anything? Are the inspectors not doing there job? Can they recognized the film bag somehow?<BR><BR>I'm suprised the digitarians have not jumped into this yet.<BR><BR>

dummy Dec 14th, 2002 05:23 AM

Uh, for us amatures out here, do low numbers mean lower speeds? So my regular, plain old film (400?) - should that be fine given that I'll go through 2 airports there &amp; 2 airports back? (Not counting arrival airport where they won't x-ray)

Howard Dec 14th, 2002 05:44 AM

Yes, dummy, the lower the ASA number the slower the speed. And, yes, your film should be safe as long as it's in your carry-on luggage.

ami Dec 14th, 2002 10:47 AM

Here is what the Consumer Report Magazine says (Jan. issue):<BR><BR>&quot;New X-Ray scanners are now in place in nearly all U.S. Airports, using high-powered X-Rays to screen checked luggage for explosives&quot;<BR><BR>They suggest placing films in carry-on luggage, BUT NOT TO HAVE IT SCANNED MORE THAN 5 TIMES.<BR><BR>&quot;You have the right to have film hand-inspected at U.S. airports. If security officials don't comply with gov. regulations, ask to speak with a supervisor&quot;<BR><BR>They are against buying lead-lined film protector bags, since these bags can'r shield films from powerful X-Rays used in those machines.<BR>

Howard Dec 14th, 2002 11:57 AM

As stated before, ami, this really isn't anything new! In fact, I believe that even before 9/11, people were urged not to put film in checked luggage because of the powerful xray machines.

Joyce Dec 15th, 2002 06:25 AM

The solution is very easy: Just pack your film in a lead-lined bag, and put the bag in your carry-on luggage. These bags are inexpensive, and are sold in all photographic equipment stores.<BR><BR>Do not depend on hand inspections. Outside the USA hand inspections are usually impossible to get. Even inside the USA, many inspectors are unaware of the law and will refuse your request. Of course, you can spend time at the checkpoint arguing the point, but it is really not worth going through this aggravation.

Marilyn Dec 15th, 2002 11:13 AM

There is something I have never understood about lead bags for film. If the xrays don't penetrate the bag, how does security know that you don't have something dangerous, a weapon or plastics explosive for example, in the bag? And if they then hand inspect the film cannisters inside the bag, why won't they do that in the first place? Anybody else find this strange logic?

Krista Dec 15th, 2002 02:21 PM

Don't even get me started!!! 9 times out of 10 the xray people don't catch my lead lined film bag. I can't believe terrorists haven't thought of this yet.

Jean Dec 15th, 2002 04:26 PM

Or buy your film when you get there....

ami Dec 15th, 2002 07:56 PM

...and develop it there too?...

Rick Dec 15th, 2002 09:52 PM

Code of Federal Regulations<BR>Title 14, Volume 2<BR>Revised as of January 1, 2001<BR>From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access<BR>CITE: 14CFR108.17<BR><BR>TITLE 14--AERONAUTICS AND SPACE<BR><BR>CHAPTER I--FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION<BR><BR>Sec. 108.17 Use of X-ray systems.<BR><BR>(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.<BR><BR>I carry a copy of this with my film when traveling. Of course I piss off the checkers and they check everything from shoes on up.

Marilyn Dec 15th, 2002 10:00 PM

Wow, Rick, I am going to copy that and carry it with me, just in case. Never wise to piss those guys off, but if my film had been through several xray machines on international stops I might go for it anyway. Thanks!

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