Effects of X-Rays on Digital Media

Most of us use digital camera or our phones these day to take photos. The x-ray machine will not harm the digital media whether in your camera or phone.

As for real old fashioned file, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and film manufactures, the new equipment designed to detect bombs in checked luggage at airports puts out much more energy than the scanners used to in the past. Consequently, photographers are increasingly finding that their checked film has been fogged.

It has been suggested you continue to do what some photographers have always done in spite of the fact that the airport personnel insist that film slower that ASA 1000 is rarely affected by the x-ray machines. Take your film out of the packaging and put in clear canisters and put into a clear ziploc bag and carry in your carry-on.

While these new scanners are more prevalent in Europe than in the US, the FAA acknowledges that they have purchased several of these new x-ray machines but declines to say where they have been installed. Since 9/11, you can be assured that the energy has been increase to where it will fog all film.

Unfortunately the days of hand checking film is gone forever. If you’d rather not go through this hassle, you can buy your film once you reach your destination and have it developed there. Consider having your film developed abroad. You can share your photos while still on the trip.

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