[ RadSafe ] Airport X-Ray scanners

roseb at gdls.com roseb at gdls.com
Fri Dec 3 16:18:39 CST 2010

In response to Clayton J Bradt's post of 12/03/2010, 02:44 PM to RadSafe:

>"Exclusive federal jurisdiction" is an NRC-made-up concept that applies 
only to the regulation of radioactive materials.

This statement is not correct.  Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction is also 
applied by US Government departments and agencies other than the NRC to 
aspects other than the regulation of radioactive materials.  Examples are:

* U.S. Department of Justice.  Criminal Resource Manual:  685  Exclusive 
Federal Jurisdiction Over Offenses by Non-Indians Against Indians. (self 

* U.S. Government Accountability Office.  B-400240.3; B-400240.4; 
B-400240.5, Coastal International Security, Inc., September 24, 2009 
(USGAO decision regarding protest of a government contract award)

* Ames Procedural Requirements (APR 1700.1 ): Chapter 10: Pressure Systems 
Safety.  NASA Ames Research Center (NASA ARC standing with respect to 
state OSH regulations)

* Attorney General of Maryland.  93 OAG 12 Federal Enclaves - Taxation - 
Property Tax - Impact Fees - Whether Private Interests n Real Property in 
an Enclave of Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction Are Subject to State and 
Local Property Taxes and Impact Fees

There are many more examples of Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction and its 
application available for research via the web.

>... TSA's current use of these scanners at JFK and LaGuardia would be 
strictly illegal under New York's Public Health Law.  In this state, the 
of ionizing radiation to humans can only be conducted for medical purposes 
by licensed medical professionals - period.

"Period," maybe, in NY, likely because:

1. ?10 NYCRR Part 16 most recent published revision is April 18, 2001 ( 
), this revision date precedes the events of 09/11/2001 and the initial or 
routine use of x-ray scanning equipment at airports to inspect humans for 
homeland security purposes; and,
2. the need to intentionally apply x-rays to humans for other than medical 
diagnostic or therapeuitic, or research purposes was not anticipated by 
NYS prior to 09/11/2001

"Period" is quite definite and final, however, I personally wouldn't be so 
quick to assert the situation as such.  That "period" appears to be based 
on rules that preceded a change in US domestic security on 09/11/2001.  If 
it is determined that the TSA's airport security operations, to include 
use of the backscatter x-ray units to inspect people prior to boarding 
aircraft, should be turned over again to private industry contractors, it 
does not appear that NYS currently has provisions in its regulations to 
address the use of these x-ray units by non-federal, non-medically 
licensed employees at airports located in NYS, other than regulations for 
registration and occupational safety.  It is certain that there will be 
much discussion between all parties, the federal government, NYS, and 
industry, to determine how, who, and if the backscatter units can or will 
be used in NYS.  Hopefully that discussion will take place well in advance 
of such a decision.


Boyd H. Rose, CM, CIH, CHMM
Sr. Safety and Environmental Engineering Specialist
Corporate Radiation Safety Officer
General Dynamics Land Systems
38500 Mound Road
Mail Zone 436-10-75
Sterling Heights , MI 48310-3269
Tel: 586 825 4503
Fax: 586 825 4015
E-mail: roseb at gdls.com

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