Tandem t:slim pumps seem to be safe to go through x-ray machines at the airport

A lot of folks seem to think that only the OmniPod is certified to go through an airport x-ray machine or a backscatter body scanner. But according to the t:slim user guide:

"Radiology and Medical Procedures

If you are going to have an X-ray, computerized tomography (CAT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or other exposure to radiation, take off your t:slim Pump and remove it from the procedure room. If you have questions, contact Tandem Diabetes Care Customer Technical Support at 1-877-801-6901. Your t:slim Pump, however, has been designed to withstand common electromagnetic interference, including airport and department store security systems. Refer to Electromagnetic Compatibility in section 19.5 for more detailed information."

Tandem seems to be confident that their pumps can handle all security systems, which is interesting because it seems to contrast with a number of other companies, who will actually replace pumps if the user ends up taking them through an x-ray.

P.S. I wasn't sure how to share this with the t:slim group to which I subscribe, I'm new on here and as best I can tell, the forum is separate from the groups, i.e. the groups seem to just be email lists while the forum is, well, a forum. Not sure if that's right, though.

Tandem seems to have updated their position (perhaps based on testing in the interim), because in 2012, Tandem was telling people not to take their pumps through airport scanners:

"Like the rest of the insulin pump industry, we recommend the t:slim pump be removed when entering a full body scanner," said Susan Morrison, director of corporate investor relations at Tandem in San Diego. Morrison said that Tandem also recommends that the t:slim pump not be exposed to luggage X-ray machines.


That is good to know. I will ask about this again. I just read in a gps manual that there may be small amounts of magnets which can affect insulin pumps and pace makers.

Just off the phone with a Tandem rep, she did not think the pump had been certified for x-rays, despite the language in the user guide. Oddly, she could not point me to any other online guidance on this topic from Tandem. Her advice was to avoid sending the pump, or a loaner pump, through any x-rays, though she did seem to think that body scanners, which are a weaker form of x-rays, were "probably" fine, albeit not tested either. I strongly urged a clearer statement from Tandem on this issue.

I've taken mine through the airport security system 14 times and haven't had a problem since.

I did the body scan and the old fashioned walk through one.

Apparently the issue is that most pumps use a delicate motor mechanism that is susceptible to damage from x-ray energy. Body scans use forms of radiation that are far weaker, while luggage x-ray machines can be turned up, to provide visibility through more opaque objects, to emit far higher levels of radiation that would much more plausibly damage a pump.

What I find odd, though, is the lack of definitive guidance. If there's actual risk, it should be highlighted prominently in the user manual, and certainly it shouldn't imply, as the current user manual does, that there might actually be no risk at all. If there's no risk, tell people that so they can not stress about it.