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Q: Power of airport security X-ray machines ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Power of airport security X-ray machines
Category: Science > Technology
Asked by: ledoc-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 24 Oct 2004 09:29 PDT
Expires: 23 Nov 2004 08:29 PST
Question ID: 419327
Are the X-rays emitted by airport baggage screening equipment (both
carry-on and checked baggage) of sufficient strength to kill the
"good" bacteria, such as Acidophilus, that are in some nutritional
Subject: Re: Power of airport security X-ray machines
Answered By: hummer-ga on 24 Oct 2004 11:25 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi  ledoc,

The news is good.  The amount of radiation items receive when they go
through an airport x-ray machine is tiny (about the same as a day's
worth of background radiation) and does not adversely affect food
supplements or kill bacteria. However, if you are worried about it,
you can store such objects in a lead-lined photographic film bag.

Are airport security X-rays damaging your supplements? Here's what you
need to know for your next trip - diet & nutrition:
"With tightened airport security, all your carry-on and some checked
belongings must pass through an X-ray machine before you board. If you
pack some supplements, that means exposing them to radiation.
But don't worry about your vitamins, minerals, and herbs, reassure
experts, even if you fly as often as a flight attendant. Radiation
levels from security X-rays are too low to break down the chemical
composition of supplements, says Phillip Harvey, Ph.D., chief science
officer at the National Nutritional Foods Association in Newport
Beach, Calif."

FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health:
"The radiation dose typically received by objects scanned by a cabinet
x-ray system is 1 millirad or less. The average dose rate from
background radiation is 360 millirad per year. The minimum dose used
in food irradiation for food preservation or destruction of parasites
or pathogens is 30,000 rad."

Organic Consumers Association
15. Can airport x-rays harm raw food?
"No. The dose used in an airport x-ray is millions of times less than
the dose used on irradiated fruits and vegetables. A few free radicals
are created but on the level of the free radicals that are normally
created during storage and ripening/decay."

Health Physics Society:
"There are also no known effects of this x-ray radiation on other
items that pass through the x-ray scanner.  Airport x-rays will not
affects seeds, medication, food items, vitamins, insulin, or
electronics that are in our suitcases..."

Additional Link of Interest:

Personal Radiation Dose Chart:

eBay: Sima Film Shield Lead Lined Bag Mini:

Food Irradiation:

I hope this is the kind of answer you were hoping for. If you have any
questions, please post a clarification request *before* closing/rating
my answer and I'll be happy to reply.

Thank you,

Google Search Terms Used:

airport x-ray  radiation rad food irradiation
airport x-ray  "nutritional supplements"
lead-lined photographic film bag
airport xray vitamins
ledoc-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

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