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X-rays at airports (II)
The slower the film speed, the better. EI 50 is safer than EI 500
Radiation effects are cumulative, so the more x-ray inspections, the more damage. Direct routing is smarter than indirect routing.
Another possible way to get raw stock through inspection would be if the film were taken out of a metal can, and placed in a light-tight plastic container, it may be possible to carry it through the walk-through metal detector. Of course, the security people may still insist on hand inspection, fearing non.metallic weapons or bomb material could be in the sealed plastic container. But if they allow simple metal detection, this would avoid any exposure to x-rays or any need to open the container.
Finally, if all the aforementioned is impractical, a commercial carrier such as Federal Express or DHL will ship film without x-raying it. They will, however, inspect it carefully by hand.
In airports such as Orlando International, new inspection machines just installed are much more powerful and will damage film. We've been notified by authorities in the field to ask for hand inspection of all film.
Just returned from St. Lucia -Hewanorra airport was no problem-Toronto airport absolutely refused to hand check anything under 1600 no matter what I said. Not only that- Skyservice charged me $50. overweight luggage and made me check all cameras through to St. Lucia -- Ridiculous
There seems to be huge differences between differen countries, airports within country and maybe even between different members of staff when it comes to handchecking films.
In Germany, I never could convince security staff not to put my films through an X-ray machine - not even by presenting them in a clear plastic bag.
In Britain, airport staff were more cooperative (sometimes) before Sep-11. Last time, however, everything was scanned.
Surprisingly, in China, most of the time a handcheck was possible, while in Greece the films were x-rayed again.
Fortunately, for me, everything from 100-ASA onwards, is a high-speed film ;-) - my favourite material being Fuji Velvia.