Recent tests found no evidence of X-ray scanner damage to digital camera media cards or to the images they hold. The tests of scanner models currently in use in the U.S. transportation industry were jointly conducted by the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A), the leading global association for the imaging industry; SanDisk® Corporation , a manufacturer of digital media cards; and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
These findings mean that digital cameras and their image storage media can travel safely in either checked or carry-on bags, which will be reassuring to holiday travelers. And though they were not explicitly tested, it is likely that images on camera-phones will be safe in either situation as well. More care is needed for cameras with film, however, as the X-ray scanners for both checked and carry-on luggage can fog both developed and undeveloped film.
“Our tests should put travelers’ fears to rest, that their digitally captured holiday memories won’t be damaged in transit,” said Lisa Walker, I3A President. “Digital cameras and media can safely go in carry-ons without the need for hand-inspection, which will simplify security checks and make those long lines move a little faster.”
The tests of digital media took place at the TSA Security Laboratory in Atlantic City, N.J. A broad selection of media and devices from a range of manufacturers, loaded with detailed images, was subjected to repeated passes through X-ray scanners matching those now in use at transportation facilities. At the end of the tests, the images were unaltered and the devices showed no sign of damage. Complete details on the tested media cards, test protocols and results can be downloaded from http://www.i3a.org/itip.html.