Is X-ray Detector Radiation Exposure Dangerous? | Radiation Safety

Radiation Exposure from Airport X-Ray Detectors?

Is radiation exposure from airport security checkpoints dangerous while using X-ray detectors? The danger of radiation exposure from X-ray detector machines is highest for individuals who work near the devices, such as security personnel or postal workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers’ maximum allowable radiation exposure dose is 5,000 millirems (mrem) per year.

Studies have shown that the radiation doses from properly maintained X-ray machines are below this limit. For example, a study conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) found that the radiation exposure from a properly functioning X-ray machine was only 0.5 mrem per hour at a distance of one meter.

It is important to note that the danger of X-ray radiation exposure is much lower for individuals not close to them. For example, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has stated that the X-ray radiation exposure from their X-ray detectors is “minuscule” and poses no health risk to passengers. While there is potential radiation exposure from X-ray detectors or scanners, the risk is minimal if the machines are properly maintained and appropriately operated according to OSHA and ALARA recommendations.

Therefore, for the general public, it is most likely that there is not a significant risk of radiation exposure from airport X-ray detectors or security scanners in other facilities. However, workers near these machines should take appropriate precautions to limit exposure. They should also consider wearing dosimeter badges and dosimeter extremity rings.

– Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (n.d.). Ionizing Radiation. Retrieved from– National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2013). Radiation Safety of X-ray Security Screening Systems. Retrieved from– Transportation Security Administration. (n.d.). Advanced Imaging Technology. Retrieved from



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