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Is there any danger to bringing my film through an airport x-ray machine?

Question:
Is there any danger to bringing my film through an airport x-ray machine?

Answer:
In an effort to make the skies safer for the traveling public, new scanner technology, which detects explosive devices, is being installed at many airports around the country. Because of its silver content, photographic film, especially bricks of film, appear particularly suspect. Unfortunately, the new scanners are fogging undeveloped film left in checked baggage. Unlike the airport x-ray equipment of the past which had little or no effect on unprocessed film, the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) has tested the new CTX5000 scanners at the request of the TSA and determined they have the potential to damage both unprocessed color and black and white film. Processed film is unaffected.

While we applaud the TSA in their efforts to ensure that checked baggage is safe, we also realize that your pictures are very important to you and want to do all we can to see that these photographic memories are preserved. We offer the following suggestions to help you avoid damage by these new scanners.

* Make sure there is no unprocessed film in your checked baggage.

* Carry your undeveloped film with you as carry-on baggage and ask for hand inspection whenever possible.

* When carrying large amounts of unprocessed film, contact the airline prior to your flight to arrange for a special baggage inspection. When possible, send your film via a cargo carrier that will certify that the film won't be x-rayed.