View Full Version : Airport metal detectors.
07-25-2000, 01:40 PM
Does an artificial joint in your body set them off?
You should only use real marajuana in your joints. :D:D
07-25-2000, 02:30 PM
Carny, I'm no expert, but I'm given to understand that it's a certain mass of metal that sets them off. From what I've seen at various airports, change and keys will alert them. I'd imagine that metal pins or artificial joint of metal would also.
07-25-2000, 02:39 PM
I had a plate and six pins installed in my lower right leg last year (almost a year ago exactly, in fact), and have been through several metal detectors since, including at the Federal building in Cleveland, and Hopkins Airport. Much to my chagrin, they didn't go off. I was looking forward to saying, "I have a plate in my leg, dammit! It's not an explosive! Really!"
07-25-2000, 02:46 PM
My mother set off the metal detector at the U.S. Capitol, probably because of a metal plate in her ankle. She never set off any other detector.
07-25-2000, 02:49 PM
My sister has some metal staples in her breastplate (from surgery when she was 2 yrs old) and has never set of a metal detector.
07-25-2000, 03:59 PM
I have a rather large plate in my arm, and I've never set off any airport metal detectors. Like Phil, I really was looking forward doing that, at least once :).
07-25-2000, 04:28 PM
I apparently know shit about metal plates in bodies setting off detectors. Why then do keys and change hold up the line so much?
07-25-2000, 04:29 PM
It has been my experience that the ammount of metal required to set of airport metal detectors is quite varried. When the new airport was completed in Pittsburgh a few years back my boots would set the detectors off every time. These were just regular hinking boots that had probably 16 or so metal grommets on each boot. I try to fly cheaply so I usually would have connecting flights. I also smoke so I would go through security at every connecting airport to have a cigarette if time allowed. Those boots never set off the detectors at any other airport. I saw the same thing with a friend's belt on a trip from KC to Reno. I can't remember where the layover was but his belt set that airport's detectors off in both directions, but didn't set off the one in Reno or KC.
If you want your new body parts to set off a metal detector connect through Pittsburgh. Or maybe it is a new airport thing and they turn down the sensitivity when they get sick of all the false alarms. Or maybe the machines sensitivity is diminshed over time.
07-25-2000, 04:33 PM
Sheesh. I should learn to paste back from the spell checker before posting.
07-25-2000, 04:33 PM
Go into a government building, especially courthouses, and thru their metal detectors. I think the shiny foil around a stick of gum will set them off.
07-25-2000, 04:33 PM
well, Hell! my city recently installed metal detectors at city hall (mainly 'cause some of the courts were there too, and there'd been some incidents of people coming into the courtroom with weapons). Anyhow, I took my punk son (16) with me to drop off some papers, knowing we'd be going through a metal detector, I said "if you're carrying a pocketknife, please remove it."
so, on we go through the detectors. He goes through and all the noises go off. so, he removed the big bicycle chain and metal cross from around his neck and tries again. Noise again, they do the handheld one and not only does it go nuts over his belt buckle (a relatively small one) BUT - and this really is nutso: his pocket set it off and the ONLY thing IN his pocket was a plastic packet of breath mints that had a foil overwrap. geez.
I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself
07-25-2000, 05:39 PM
My ex-roomate had a titanium femur. Her femur set off all metal detectrs except for the one at SFO. I always wear steel toed boots, I never set off the metal detectors at OAK or Madison, WI. SFO i did set off. It makes you wonder about air safety and all that.
07-25-2000, 05:48 PM
Cecil on prosthetics and metal detectors: How does a person with a steel plate in his head get through airport metal detectors? (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_245.html)
07-25-2000, 09:06 PM
Flew regularly for 20 years, 1975-1995. Carried change and keys, etc. Never set off detectors.
Last night, went to Cleveland-Hopkins to pick up someone. Set off detector.
Emptied pocket of many keys, and lots of change. Still set off detector. Took every conceivable thing out of every pocket. Still set off detector.
They went over me with a hand-held detector. It always went off over my shoes. The operator said to me privately "you have steel arches in your shoes."
God bless our security system.
07-25-2000, 09:54 PM
I went to pay a parking ticket at the local courthouse here and they told be to even remove any cigarette packs I had. It seems the foil in the packs could set them off.
07-25-2000, 10:00 PM
I know that may seem contradictory to my previous post, but I'm just reporting what I've seen. *note* One was airport, one was "Courthouse".
Sorry, I've just seen people get picked apart for small discrepencies (sp?) like that.
07-25-2000, 11:19 PM
My schneider rod (rod in my femur) has never set off a detector, much as I've tried. I assume that the mass of the leg (especially the bone) masks the steel from the detector.
07-26-2000, 10:41 AM
I don't know if it's an airport vs. courthouse thing. I think they can vary the sensitivity of the detector and they crank it up if there's some perceived threat that day and turn it down otherwise so they can process people faster.
I'm a lawyer in Chicago, and I used to have to go to Daley Center (civil courts) nearly every day. There was a small can of pepper spray in my coat pocket for months, and it didn't set off the detector until the day after the Oklahoma City bombing. The sheriff's guards must have turned up the sensitivity. (They removed all the garbage cans from the lobby, too, and didn't put them back until a few months ago, IIRC. The many suffer for the wrongs of the few. :)) The metal detectors at the Criminal Courts are much more sensitive, and while regular employees with sheriff-issued IDs can bypass the Daley Center detectors, everyone has to go through the detectors at Criminal Court. The Dirsken Federal Building (federal courts) was even more sensitive, and I never even tried to bring the pepper spray in there -- for some reason, Feds in ordinary suits and sunglasses seem more imposing and less, umm, forgiving than sheriff's guards in full uniform. :)
07-26-2000, 12:19 PM
I am also thinking that the amout of stuff covering the metal makes a diffenence. There is alot of leg muscle covering a femur but not that much covering a shoe.
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