[ RadSafe ] Airport X-Ray scanners

ReuvenGmail reuven99 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 2 04:58:38 CST 2010

Hi Mr. Perle:

I posed a simple and srteightforword question: were TLD and / or film badge 
radiation measurements made on those machines?

Your did not answer in the same way.

I will be surprised if ANYBODY, be it the manufacturer or an FDA operative 
bothered to take
an ACR mammography phantom and a mammography film / cassette, or a set of 
TLDs to perform
initial, crude test for EVALUATIONS, are the scanners safe or do they pose 
radiation risks to the public?

The RapiScan 1000 is manufactured in LA or San Diego. I presume that if the 
manufacturer had indeed used TLDs etc. - you would have known about it.

I have studied the first published "Assessment of the Rapiscan Secure 1000" 
by Frank Cerra, July 21, 2006, and I can assure you that TLD / film were NOT 

Mr. Cerra utilized a Monte Carlo software (PCXMC) which needs to be fed 
several parameters before it can run. These parameters were ESTIMATED by Mr. 
Cerra without proving the validity of his assumptions / estimations. I have 
not checked the this software yet, but I suspect that like any other Monte 
Carlo software I know, it deals with STATIC source of radiation.

In the next few days I'm going to study the more recent Assessment from John 
Hopkins University, physics dept.  Knowing my physicists colleagues, I will 
be deeply surprised if the John Hopkins guys used an ACR mammography phantom 
with mammography cassette and / or TLD to
"Assess" the magnitude of radiation in these scanners!

Reading the RadSafe about these scanners conjures in my mind an Academic 
Tea-Party version  chanting in a trans: "X-Ray Airport scanners are safe and 
GOOD for ya!"


Reuven Zach


Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 18:02:41 -0600
From: "Perle, Sandy" <SPerle at mirion.com>
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] TSA Scanner is Health Risk
To: "The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing
List" <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
Message-ID: <A9138597-C0A9-4A2A-9DB4-BA44CB996F86 at mirion.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Hello Reuven,

I am confident that there is a lot of data regarding these units. The 
primary issue for someone other than the government or the manufacturer to 
monitor these units with TLD or other dosimeter is that the TSA must 
authorize the placing of these devices on a person entering the unit. The 
pilot unions wanted to test but at that point in time, the TSA would not 
allow dosimeters be in the unit. If you've ever been through one, they make 
you take everything out of your pockets, including currency bills, wallet, 
etc. A dosimeter is a no-no.

This list has provided links to studies and I have no quarrels with the data 
presented that demonstrates that the dose received by an individual is 
small. I traveled all day today and the airports I went through did not have 
these scanners. I would have gladly been scanned rather than the hand-on 
body grope.


Sander C. Perle
Mirion Technologies
Dosimetry Services Division
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614

+1 (949) 296-2306 (Office)
+1 (949) 296-1144 (Fax)

Mirion Technologies: http://www.mirion.com/

On Nov 30, 2010, at 12:53 PM, ReuvenGmail wrote:

> Dear Mr. Perle,
> Do you happen to know if there are ANY measurements results
> using TLD monitors or film badge monitors to inform us with scientifically
> derived results about the radiation exposure / absorption levels of 
> airport
> x-ray scanners to passengers?
> In the absence of such rudimentary measurements, nobody in this forum has
> the grounds to "approve" or "disprove" these machines.
> With the obvious track record of the FDA, I would caution, though, any
> passenger, to avoid ANY x-ray exposure!
> The scanners operate at 50 KvP (!)
> Here is an example of reincarnation: Xeromammography, that has been quite
> dead for the past 40 years, is gaining a tremendous and profitable 
> revival,
> in the transmogrifyed "X-Ray Back Scatter Scanner..."
> Regards,
> Reuven Zach
> Medical Radiation Physicist

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