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American National Standard N43.17

Radiation Safety For Personnel Security Screening Systems Using X-rays


N43.17 CoverA new imaging technology is gaining importance in screening applications for security and contraband. Systems that use ionizing radiation, designed to be used directly on people, have been installed by several institutions in the United States since the 1990's. The technology allows much lower doses than more conventional x-ray methods. The doses are typically lower than allowable limits for incidental exposure to the general population from man-made sources. When the technology became commercially available, little guidance existed for this type of intentional, non-medical radiation exposure. In June of 2000 the HPS/ANSI Accredited Committee N43 appointed working group N43.17 to draft a consensus standard addressing the radiation safety of this technology.

This standard applies to security screening systems that use x-rays and are designed to be used on people. Specifically, this standard applies to systems used to detect objects carried on the individual being exposed. The standard provides guidelines specific to the radiation safety aspects of the design and operation of these systems. It does not include electrical safety guidelines or any other safety, performance or use considerations outside of the realm of radiation safety. The standard is intended for manufacturers, distributors, installers, and users of the systems.

In setting dose limits the standard takes into consideration the minimization of the dose as balanced against the security benefit to society. This precludes the frivolous use of the security devices where no benefit is to be derived. The standard contains two informative annexes. Annex A provides information on risks associated with radiation doses and the rationale for the dose requirements in the standard. Annex B provides information required to make appropriate radiation measurements.


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