Airport Full Body Scanners and Insulin Pumps

Anyone have the word on if these are safe for our pumps? It uses very low level of radiation apparently. Has anyone been through one? Seems like they are popping up at airports all around the US now.

You know Jennifer I am not 100% positive I go by the little card my pump came with and it says no radiation so I don’t let it go through the airport or even x-ray at the hospital since it says not too. I would rather be safe then sorry especially if I was going on A trip.

Yeah - I figured this, but if you are at an airport and they have the scanner and you won’t go through it, then it’s the metal detector then a full “pat down”, regardless (even without the pump). Just trying to avoid the fuss.

I did find this, as quoted by a reporter who was reporting on the use of the scanners in Memphis: The TSA also says the radiation emitted by the scanners is much less than the exposure received from a cell phone or a flight on an airplane.

I have gone through one more then a year ago and did not have any problems after wards with my pump.

I have been through several in the last few months and it has had no effect on my pump. But i got to say, i still got a pat down after and they swabbed my pump so it really was not much faster, but the line was shorter.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to do this someday, even in an airport that uses it as a special screening for just some travelers (I get flagged for the weirdest extra checks - visual bag inspections, once a visual bag inspection at the gate as I was boarding (I’d already made it through security), once that weird machine in I think Indianapolis that uses puffs of air to see if you have explosives on you…) I will just need to remember to disconnect. I don’t care whether it is deemed ‘safe’ or not, I want my pump nowhere near such a full-body scanner!

My pump seems to systematically alarm the regular WTMD so I get the pat-downs anyway. The instruction manual for my pump says not to put it through X-ray machines or other machines with high magnetic fields, but doesn’t give specific instructions for full-body scanners. So far I’ve avoided them, but seeing as any case they provoke a secondary pat-down, I guess if you have a choice go for the WTMD, which the pump manufacturers seem happy about.

The full body scanners are fine for your pump. They don’t use the type of radiation used in the belt scanners; orders of magnitude less.

I called Animas just last month just before a lengthy trip, they said to not take the pump into a full body scanner ( even the newer ones).

this was our first trip where we encounter the full body scanners. There are two types but I understand the safer one is primarily in Europe but don’t quote me on that. Anyhow, in Denver no issues. But in Miami they were randomly checking people (like every other person it seemed) on the full body scan. Didn’t even offer you the option of the pat down or scan (I had a word with the super there about that – that’s not right – they are supposed to offer you the option but you as the passenger actually have to speak up and ask for it). I told them no scan for my son. They didn’t but the supervisor insisted it was safe for him - actually claimed the metal detector was more dangerous. Argh! Anyhow, speak up and demand what you feel best is for you. Don’t ever let them talk you into what you don’t feel comfortable in doing. There is always a supervisor there – ask for him/her and request a pat down. My son never takes his pump off in public (he’s skinny and still does his sites on his butt, even as a teenager).

Thanks!!! I need to see if I can get a print out from Animas to carry with next time.

The wands they use to scan your cloths are safe, it is the x-ray equipment that are not safe.


You know, i’ve read so many horror stories, that if I do travel out again, I think I will live my pump home, and be on shots for a while. Too much aggravation. Many times when these guys check your pump, they don’t even know what it is, much less to know what to look for… Assuming we were “diabetic terrorists”… LOL


you can ask for a hand scan of the pump if they argue ask for the tsa medical director. Abd the pump manufacturers say no xray, netal detectors are ok

dont tell the pump manufacturer - it voids the warranty

i have travelled for over 20 years with pump - i would never leave it home - just disconnect and ask for a manualor hand inspection. They have to do it and tehn u can avoid the pat down grope!

Deb says who? I have called Animas and they specifically say no to the full body scan - it will void the warranty

Just went through a full body scan and metal detector this week. Not a single problem. I even asked for a hand search because of the pump and was told to go through the scanner, which I did.

If your pump is setting these off, tuck it into you waistline in the middle of your body. A TSA guy taught me that and it really works!

I still say it’s your choice and never have a TSA person tell you what to do. You’re within your right to ask for a pat down if you’re unsure or feel uncomfortable. Even though you had no negative outcome, the TSA person was out of line. It’s not their pump and most of these guys barely have a high school education. From the TSA website:

If you are concerned or uncomfortable about going through the walk-through metal detector with your insulin pump, notify the Security Officer that you are wearing an insulin pump and would like a full-body pat-down and a visual inspection of your pump instead.

Advise the Security Officer that the insulin pump cannot be removed because it is inserted with a catheter (needle) under the skin.

Advise the Security Officer if you are experiencing low blood sugar and are in need of medical assistance.

You have the option of requesting a visual inspection of your insulin and diabetes associated supplies. See the Medication section below for details