Paper and airport x-ray machines?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Iwagoshi, May 16, 2009.

  1. Iwagoshi

    Iwagoshi Subscriber

    Messages:
    455
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    NorCal
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I need a third opinion. My left brain says that slow paper should not be affected by airport x-ray machines, so go ahead and pack that box of Rembrandt in check baggage, no worries. The right side says, Whoa! That's a pretty big assumption, paper is not film, you better get it hand-checked just in case. In case of what I do not know, that is why I am seeking your collective advice. Any of you fine folks had paper fogged by airport x-rays?

    Thanks,
    Terry
     
  2. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

    Messages:
    960
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    While on a trip to the UK a couple of years ago I had the great pleasure of participating in the APUG Ilford factory visit, at the end of which we were given some film and paper samples. When it was time to return home I was able to fit the film samples in my carry-on bag. But there was just no room for the paper packs, so I swallowed hard and stuffed them into my suitcase, which was checked.

    No trace of fog. Either I got lucky, or the fact that paper is a lot slower than film made a difference. Or both.

    N = 1, YMMV, etc.
     
  3. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Enlarging paper is a lot slower than film, and that does make a difference. I also think that Oren might have gotten lucky. I don't know for sure that your paper would be safe going through checked baggage. In your position, I'd not subject it to the higher dose radiation used for checked baggage just to be on the safe side.
     
  4. gerryyaum

    gerryyaum Subscriber

    Messages:
    475
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    I have taken large amounts of photo paper to Asia, going through 3 airports there and back without any problems (outside of the weight), I put eveything in check in luggage( this was 1999 and 2003 when I had darkrooms over Thailand).

    Gerry
     
  5. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,192
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Alamos,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Airport baggage scanners (the ones they use for checked baggage) vary a quite a bit. Some are quite potent radiation sources. While I'm glad to hear about the good experiences people have had, I would be wary. Paper would probably go through the carry-on scanners without any problem, however.
     
  6. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

    Messages:
    1,749
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Tufts Univer
    Shooter:
    35mm
    carry on will definitely be fine, but checked could be a crapshoot because it gets scanned multiple times.
     
  7. Aklens200

    Aklens200 Member

    Messages:
    31
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Location:
    Alaska
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    X-Ray

    Hi,
    I've done work for an airline (security, ie all types of X-Ray), I would not send any paper/film through an X-Ray.
    You might get away with it in the US or UK but why take a chance.
    Hand search.:smile:
    Rich
     
  8. Iwagoshi

    Iwagoshi Subscriber

    Messages:
    455
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    NorCal
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thank you all for the insightful replies. I hope a box of 16x20 will fit in the overhead compartment.
     
  9. Iwagoshi

    Iwagoshi Subscriber

    Messages:
    455
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    NorCal
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Well this is how it played out. While in Japan I made the pilgrimage to Yodobashi Camera and picked up, among other things, a box of 10x12 Fuji Rembrandt paper (100 sheets). Exiting the country, I had the paper (and film) hand checked. Everything was going ok until egress security wanted to unseal the box of paper. I unsealed the box but got rather upset when they wanted to open the bag of paper. I balked, they agreed to just play feely-meely with the closed bag until they were satisfied that is was only paper inside. Arriving at SFO, to my surprise, Customs wanted to x-ray all my luggage for contraband fruit and meat, hence another hand-check fire-drill but this time they didn't want to open the box. End of story, I hope.