Frequently Asked Questions on Scienscope Cabinet X-Ray Systems
The information in this publication is provided for reference only. All information contained in this publication is believed to be accurate and complete. SCIENSCOPE shall not be liable for errors contained herein, nor incidental or consequential damages in connection with the furnishing, performance or the use of this material. All product specifications, as well as the information contained in this publication are subject to change without notice. This publication may contain or reference information and products protected by copyrights or patents and does not convey any license under the patent rights of SCIENSCOPE nor the rights of others.
The X-Scope X-Ray Machines are manufactured and sold by:
X-Scope Technology LLC
5751 Schaefer Ave. Chino, CA 91710, USA
A cabinet x-ray system is an x-ray system installed in an enclosure. The enclosure is
intended to protect people from the x-rays generated and to exclude people from the enclosure’s
interior. Cabinet x-ray systems are primarily used for security screening and industrial quality
control. Security applications range from screening baggage at an airport to examining whole
trucks at the border. Industrial quality control applications include the x-ray examination of
foods, circuit boards, and tires. Some cabinet x-ray systems are also medical devices, such as a
cabinet x-ray system used for analysis of tissue samples in a medical laboratory.
Other common names for cabinet x-ray systems are X-ray Inspection Systems, X-ray
Screening Systems, X-ray Security Systems, and Baggage X-ray Systems. The words inspection,
screening, security, and baggage might also be used interchangeably with or in addition to the
description of a cabinet x-ray system.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has responsibility for assuring manufacturers
produce cabinet x-ray systems that do not pose a radiation safety hazard. For most electronic
products that emit radiation, safety regulation is divided between FDA and state regulatory
agencies. Typically, FDA regulates the manufacture of the products and the states regulate the
use of the products. For further information on FDA regulations that apply to manufacturers of
electronic products that emit radiation (such as a cabinet x-ray system) see the FDA web site
Note: Manufacturers may be subject to additional FDA regulations if their cabinet x-ray system
product is intended to be used in a medical application (e.g. specimen radiographs made in a
medical laboratory) or in the inspection of foods (e.g. finding contamination in food such as
metal fragments or bone chips found during manufacturing). These regulations do not address
cabinet x-ray system radiation safety and their details are beyond the scope of this document.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for issuing general radiation
guidance to Federal Agencies. Additionally, basic information about radiation is available on the
EPA web site (http://www.epa.gov/radiation/index.html). The US Occupational Health and
Safety Administration (OSHA) has regulations on worker safety from radiation in the workplace
Yes. Manufacturers are required to certify that their products meet the Federal radiation
safety performance standard for cabinet x-ray systems. Specifically, the standard requires that the
radiation emitted from a cabinet x-ray system not exceed an exposure of 0.5 milliroentgens in
one hour at any point five centimeters from the external surface. Most cabinet x-ray systems emit
less than this limit. In addition, the standard also requires safety features that include warning
lights, warning labels, and interlocks.
For comparison, the average person in the United States receives a dose of about 360 millirem of
radiation per year from background radiation. (Note: 1 milliroentgen of exposure to x-rays will
result in approximately 1 millirem of dose. These terms are defined later in this document.)
Background radiation is radiation that is always present in the environment. Eighty percent of
that exposure comes from natural sources: radon gas, the human body, outer space, rocks, and
soil. The remaining 20 percent comes from man-made radiation sources, primarily medical x
For additional information on certification and labeling, see Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations
(CFR) 1010. For the details of the cabinet x-ray performance standard see Title 21 CFR 1020.40.
For further information on recommended limits of radiation exposure, we recommend the
National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements Report 116, Limitation of Exposure
to Ionizing Radiation (1993).
Yes. The limit on radiation emission established by the performance standard is sufficiently
restrictive that there is no additional hazard for specific populations such as children or pregnant
women. For additional details please see the answer to question 5.
Personnel monitoring equipment is not required by Federal regulation for operators of
cabinet x-ray systems. It is possible that some state regulations or the policies of the operators’
employer require use of personnel monitoring equipment. Personnel monitoring equipment
means devices designed to be worn or carried by an individual for the purpose of measuring a
radiation dose received (e.g. film badges, pocket dosimeters, film rings, etc.). For more
information, please see the OSHA regulations found in Title 29 CFR 1910.1096(d)
Precautionary procedures and personal monitoring and contact OSHA. The OSHA regulations
are based on the amount of radiation that a worker can receive in a specific area from all
radiation sources. The Federal limit on cabinet x-ray system emissions ensures the maximum
possible exposure from cabinet x-ray systems in the workplace will always fall below the
minimum threshold where personnel monitoring might be required.
There are no known adverse effects from eating food, drinking beverages, using medicine,
or applying cosmetics that have been irradiated by a cabinet x ray system used for security
The radiation dose typically received by objects scanned by a cabinet x-ray system is 1 millirad
or less. The average dose rate from background radiation is 360 millirad per year. The minimum
dose used in food irradiation for food preservation or destruction of parasites or pathogens is
For more detailed information on radiation used for food inspection or food treatment, see
Title 21 CFR 179, www.FoodSafety.gov, contact FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Nutrition,
or contact the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service.
No, the x-ray dose received when a piece of electronic equipment is scanned by a cabinet x
ray system used for security screening will not harm electronic equipment.
It is unlikely, but possible. Most cabinet x-ray systems used in the United States for
security screening are built to be safe for all but the fastest film speeds (speeds below 1000).
Multiple exposures of film to even film safe x-ray systems may eventually result in fogging or
increased granularity. However, some systems, usually those scanning checked baggage, and
some x-ray systems used in other parts of the world are not designed to be film safe.
Manufacturers are not required by federal regulation to build their systems to be film safe. Your
film manufacturer should be able to provide more specific recommendations about the storage
and transport of exposed and unexposed film.
Exposure is a term defining the amount of ionizing radiation that strikes living or
inanimate material. (This is a general definition. In health physics, exposure is specifically
defined as a measure of ionization in air caused by x-ray or gamma radiation only.)
Dose means the quantity of radiation or energy absorbed. Dose may refer to the following:
absorbed dose, the amount of energy deposited per unit mass.
equivalent dose, the absorbed dose adjusted for the relative biological effect of the type
of radiation being measured.
Roentgen (R) is a unit of exposure of ionizing radiation and indicates the strength of the ionizing
radiation. One Roentgen is the amount of x-ray needed to produce ions carrying 1 electrostatic
unit of electrical charge in 1 cubic centimeter of dry air under standard conditions.
Roentgen absorbed dose (rad) is the basic unit of absorbed radiation dose. A dose of 1 rad to
an object means each gram of the object received 100 ergs of energy or 1 rad = 100 ergs/gram.
Roentgen Equivalent Man (rem) is the basic unit of equivalent dose, and relates the absorbed
dose in human tissue to the biological effect of the radiation. Not all radiation has the same
biological effect, even for the same amount of absorbed dose
- Perform annual radiation survey with documentation per state and federal requirements for the department of health.
- Machine electrical and mechanical evaluation, software evaluation and or path update( where applicable. )
- Safety System Maintenance
- Inspect and Adjust Safety Interlocks, if needed
- Inspect and Adjust Tower Light, if needed
- Radiation Survey Done at Full Rated Output of X-Ray System
- Minor Adjustment of Cabinet Doors, where applicable
- Check all Safety Labels
- Sealed Tube X-Ray Equipment
- Check kV and mA Displays, kV and mA Controls
- Focus X-Ray Tube Power Supply, where appicable
- Real-Time X-Ray System
- Clean and Adjust Camera Lens, if needed
- Clean and Lubricate Sample Stage
- Offset and Gain Calibration
- Gear ratio and parcentricity
- System Full calibration
- Navigation, pixel Mapping Mapping Camera Calibration
- Maintenance Services Provided For
- Check Wiring, contacts, lights, buttons, etc
- Check Power Receptacle and Ground Wire Connections
- Check Incoming Power Supply Voltage
- Check Cable Connection, stage drive/ball screw for wear
- Check stage couplers, Clean Exterior & Interior
- Clean and lubricate drive belst, where applicable