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Environment authorities: "No licenses, but X-rays are safe"

(China Daily)

10:44, October 13, 2011

Millions of subway passengers across China pass through X-ray security checks like this one at Shenzhen's Luohu Subway Station every day. Environmental authorities in Shenzhen confirmed the machines are harmless to staff and passengers, although the city's equipment has not yet received safety permits. (Photo: China Daily)

BEIJING, Oct.13 (Xinhuanet) --- Environment authorities in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, have insisted that X-ray machines used on its subway network are harmless, despite the fact they have not received safety permits required by law.

The 286 machines fitted at stations throughout the network are yet to obtain radiation licenses or undergo environmental assessments, but they pose no danger, Shenzhen Habitat Environment Committee said, according to a Xinhua News Agency report.

The announcement came in response to a report by Southern Metropolis News that the radiation emitted by X-rays at Shangmeilin and Jingtian stations had tested at more than 1 microsievert an hour, which means by law they need to pass an impact assessment.

The security devices, which are also commonly seen in Shanghai and Beijing, were installed in Shenzhen in June ahead of the city's hosting of the University Games.

"We were given lectures and courses about working security before taking the job," said a security guard at Convention Center Station, who refused to give his name. "Our shifts change every 30 or 40 minutes to reduce the harm of radiation."

Another worker for Shenzhen Metro, Chen Simin, added: "There's no need to worry about radiation as long as passengers don't put their hands into the machines."

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