Most recent digital camera and imaging news items - RSSDigital camera and imaging news items - HTML

i3a and Transportation Security Administration guidelines to holiday travelers

i3a and Transportation Security Administration guidelines to holiday travelers - digital camera and photography news


Harrison, New York, December 20, 2002 — Travelers should take precautions to protect their film and single-use cameras from being damaged by x-ray security scans at airports, says a 'traveling with film' advisory released by the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The advisory, supporting TSA's 'Prepare for Takeoff' program, suggests travelers should pack film and single-use cameras in clear plastic or mesh bags and store them in carry-on luggage. Unprocessed film should never be packed in check-in baggage.

The I3A and TSA guidelines urge travelers to:

Never pack unprocessed film in checked luggage;
Store all film and single-use cameras in clear plastic or mesh bags that fit in carry-on bags;
Remove film and single-use cameras from carry-on bags and request a hand inspection of these items whenever carry-on luggage is subjected to high-intensity x-ray security scanning (hand inspection requests are permitted under Transportation Security Administration regulations);
For x-ray scanners used for carry-on baggage request a hand inspection for film and single use cameras ISO 1000 speed and higher;
Request a hand inspection for ISO 800 speed and lower film and single-use cameras when they are subjected to 5 or more scans on normal X-ray scanning equipment.
No precautions are necessary for unloaded film cameras or digital cameras.
"Heightened security measures are there to protect everyone and we fully support them," said Lisa Walker, I3A's president. "At the same time, we encourage travelers to take steps to ensure that x-ray scans do not damage the film holding their precious holiday memories."
The I3A's Committee for Integrity in Transportation of Imaging Products (ITIP) tested the maximum x-ray exposure that high-speed film products can tolerate before damage occurs. The committee found that normal x-ray scanning at departure points in the United States poses minimal risk to unprocessed film rated at speeds below ISO 1000. However, carry-on items are now randomly subjected to high-intensity scans as part of increased security measures and these scans pose a considerable risk to film and single-use cameras. The tests also showed that multiple passes of lower speed film through normal carry-on baggage screeners could damage film as well.

"We are committed to making holiday travel as safe and comfortable for passengers as possible," said Robert Johnson, director of communications for the Transportation Security Administration. "Just as we take great steps to augment personal safety, we want to ensure that scans do not damage holiday travellers' film or cameras."

The I3A says tests done using all speeds of film through high-intensity x-ray scanners showed damaging streaks and fogging of film, with higher-speed films showing a higher level of damage than slower films. Additionally, normal x-ray scans used for carry-on baggage will damage many types of unprocessed film after multiple scans.

About the International Imaging Industry Association
I3A is the leading global imaging industry association, driving growth of and setting standards for the photographic and information imaging markets. As the industry focal point, I3A offers a framework and environment where members can quickly find resources to solve critical issues and develop market solutions. Members of I3A work together to find common ground for advancing the industry and to enable better products and services for their customers. I3A is the product of the merger of the Digital Imaging Group (DIG) and the Photographic and Imaging Manufacturers Association (PIMA). Information about I3A can be found on the World Wide Web at

About the Transportation Security Administration
TSA, which is responsible for national transportation security, is in the process of establishing federal security operations in the nation's commercial airports under the mandate of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001.
December 20, 2002
go to top of page