[ RadSafe ] baby in x-ray scanner

osuleiman at comcast.net osuleiman at comcast.net
Tue Dec 26 11:39:00 CST 2006

Several points-

Regarding why others haven't addressed this issue, they have.

Read Khan et al's article (HPS 2002) titled "Radiation Dose Equivalent to Stowaways in Vehicles". They conclude that "the radiation dose...to stowaways...is negligibly small and does not pose a health hazard.".

HPS has also addressed this issue, see their Ask The Experts column, search on "airport x-ray".  

FDA has an x-ray standard for airport detection systems (CFR 1020.40), and had addressed the issue of personnel security systems in its advisory committee deliberations several years ago, deciding not to apply a mandatory standard to the personnel screening systems.  

However, FDA requested that the NCRP and ANSI look into this,  which resulted in 2 documents, (1) NCRP Commentary No 16:Screening of Humans for Security Purposes Using Ionizing Radiation Scaning Systems. (Dec 2003), and (2) an ANSI/HPS N43.17 Voluntary standard: Radiation Safety for Personnel Security Screening Systems Using X-rays (April 2002).

As several messages have suggested, these exposures are on the order of 1 mR and much less.  The ANSI standard actually recommends a subject dose limit of 0.10 microSv (10 microrem) per scan.   

This is not the first baby to be scanned inadvertently in a baggage system, and probably not the last.   Medico-legal issues may have justified sending the baby to a hospital for evaluation, but when it comes to predicting actions based on  potential litigation, or what the media, may or may or may not report- no one can predict.  I would be careful to pass judgement on specific actions unless you actually know the details of what have transpired.  

It's tough enough communicating radiation hazards to both professionals and the lay public, but instead of researching the subject, we look for quick answers on the internet- which is OK for a first impression, but is no substitute for good science and the ability to communicate this risk, as little as it is, to others.

Happy New Year
-------------- Original message -------------- 
From: "Sandy Perle" <sandyfl at earthlink.net> 

> On 26 Dec 2006 at 9:41, Dan Burnfield wrote: 
> > Couldn't Mayo clinic with all the 
> > great HPs they have on staff and the fantastic reputation as the nations 
> > premier health care facility take this on as a Christmas present to the 
> > nation and just put out a short press release on the incident and the 
> > reasoning behind why there would be a lack of potential effects on the 
> > child. 
> What about the AAPM, HPS as well as other medical facilities, such as 
> Cleveland Clinic, etc.? 
> I still am of the opinion that there was no need for this publicity, 
> no need to put the family at discomfort with the thought that there 
> "might" have been a dangerous exposure to the infant, and that this 
> could have been handled quite differently. 
> To expend large sums of funds, and w waste of required resources 
> every time there is a perception that there might have been a problem 
> has to simply change. We can not continue to operate our government, 
> businesses and risk management to placate the uneducated in this 
> country. 
> ------------------------------------- 
> Sandy Perle 
> Senior Vice President, Technical Operations 
> Global Dosimetry Solutions, Inc. 
> 2652 McGaw Avenue 
> Irvine, CA 92614 
> Tel: (949) 296-2306 / (888) 437-1714 Extension 2306 
> Fax:(949) 296-1144 
> E-Mail: sperle at dosimetry.com 
> E-Mail: sandyfl at earthlink.net 
> Global Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com/ 
> Personal Website: http://sandy-travels.com/ 
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