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Re: [IP] "Insulin and X-Ray Security"

I have been traveling with insulin for over 35 years.  I was
warned by my doctor to never let insulin go through X-Ray
equipment.   He explained that insulin is a protein and that each
exposure could break down the insulin, but you would never know
how much, if any, effect there was until you were in trouble.
This was well before my days on the pump.  I would find out much
faster now, but why take the chance.  There are enough variables
on a trip without worrying about whether my insulin is still
acting with full strength.

Before I approach the security checkpoint, I take the insulin
bottle out of my supply bag and put it in my shirt pocket.  There
isn't enough metal in an insulin bottle, medic alert necklace,
and insulin pump combined to set off any metal detector I've been
through.  (I occassionally forget about my PDA and that sets off
the metal detector every time.)  I have never been questioned
about the bottle of insulin at any airport in the US, UK, Canada,
Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, or the Netherlands.  I have been
asked to remove my "pager" several times, but when I explain it is
an insulin pump, I've only been detained for further inspection
and questions going through the Montreal airport.  I have
frequently been asked at European airports if I have documentation
showing that I am a diabetic.  I always honestly answer "Yes." to
that question.  (I always carry the boxes with drug store
prescription labels flattened in my briefcase [as required now
in the US] and my doctor's prescription in my computer bag [as
required outside of the US], but I have only been asked to show
any of them once.)  When I get to the gate, I take my insulin out
of my pocket and put it back in my supply bag in my computer case.

Happy traveling,

> Date: Mon, 09 Sep 2002 07:37:46 -0400

> From: Ed & Joan <email @ redacted

> Subject: [IP] "Insulin and X-Ray Security"
> Last week, I received that periodic newsletter "UPdate", put out by BD.
> In it, there is an article entitled "Ask Dr. Ginsberg" where he responds
> to a question about the affect airport security X-rays can have on the
> stability of insulin passing through the screening system. I was
> surprised to read that it can have an effect, and he quoted a statement
> (which I couldn't find) on the Eli Lilly & Co. website as follows:
> "Under normal conditions, insulin can safely pass through X-ray machines
> at airport terminals, although be cautioned if the insulin remains in
> the path of the X-ray for longer than normal or if it is repeatedly
> exposed to X-ray. This can affect the stability of your insulin."
> I am troubled by loose statements such as "longer than normal",...and
> "repeatedly". So often, the security person stops the machine travel and
> scrutinizes the contents of my carry on bag being bombarded by X-rays.
> Does this qualify as "longer than normal"?
> The article goes on to suggest asking security to pass the insulin
> through by hand. Seems like that's looking for more trouble.
> Ed
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