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BIRDS AS ART ON-LINE Note October 5, 2001


 Here is an e-mail that I received from Bulletin Subscriber Steve Freno of  Anhcorage, Alaska:


Being a FedEx Senior Manager and a Photographer, I've been barraged with  questions recently about shipping film....
Here is the best answer that I can give at this point.......

FedEx DOES NOT routinely X-Ray anything. There are some locations that have Government Agencies (DEA, USDA, Department  Agriculture, Customs, etc) on site, or that occasionally come on site,  that may, on occasion X-ray (or even open) packages that meet a certain profile or are deemed suspicious.
Some of these agencies routinely bring 'drug-sniffing' dogs to run up and down our sort belts. In Anchorage, I have seen Agriculture even bring in a  'food-sniffing' dog to look for illegally imported foodstuffs from Asia.  Also here in Anchorage, US Customs will often set up an X-ray machine and  X-ray all US Export freight (packages picked up in Alaska, going overseas).

One thing that I can tell you with complete confidence is that nowhere in our system do we have any of the powerful CTX-5000 X-ray machines that we have all heard about. The X-ray machines that are used are usually an older  "retired" model from an old security./screening entrance. These emit very  low levels of X-rays and (as far as I know) cannot damage film.

So at this point, there really is nothing to worry about. I have always
 shipped my film via FedEx and have never, ever heard of any problem encountered by a photographer....(except of course for the occasional  missorted, or "misplaced" package....but we still are light-years ahead of  the Post Office and UPS in that department)......

.......Since Sept 11th though, there are rumors flowing through our
industry  of changes in all of this......we have heard that the FAA may be asking cargo carriers to X-ray all shipments that will be traveling via air. This  would have the potential of virtually shutting down both FedEx and UPS's sorting operations and change or almost eliminate guaranteed overnight delivery services. These are just rumors and if something like that were initiated, there would be lots of advance notice......

Bottom line -----at this point, it is 100% perfectly safe to ship your
film with FedEx (unless you are packing your box with dope (narcotics), your  package should never fall under suspicion. The official line of the matter  is that "all packages are subject to inspection", so writing on the box  "FILM; PLEASE DO NOT X-RAY.  OK TO OPEN FOR INSPECTION--PLEASE RE-SEAL
 CAREFULLY" is a great idea and I  believe I will start doing that....just in case.....

Let me know if you've got any other always, take care-





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