(Radiographically, an artifact is a mark on the film which is foreign to the x-ray image
and which is not necessarily imposed on the film by the action of x-ray.) Artifacts
caused by bending and crinkling will be dark.
1-13. STORAGE PRECAUTIONS
a. Heat. Unexposed and unprocessed x-ray film should always be kept in a
cool, dry place. It should never be stored in basements or near steam pipes or other
sources of heat. In extremely warm climates, only small quantities of film should be
ordered at one time, so that a rapid turnover takes place. High temperatures damage
the emulsion, causing fog and lack of contrast. Unexposed x-ray film is not usable after
a few weeks when it has been subjected to temperatures of 90to 100F or after a few
days of 110 to 120F. A relatively brief period of excessive heat in transit or storage
may ruin the film regardless of how well it is protected. Sealed containers protect film
from moisture and other contaminants as long as they are unbroken, but they do not
protect against high temperatures. The following may be used as a guide.
(1) If film is to be used in two months, it can withstand temperatures up to
If stored at 60F, it can be kept six months; at 50F, for one year.
(3) Ideal storage conditions prevail at temperatures of 50 to 75F with
relative humidity of 40 to 60 percent.
b. X-Rays. Film must be suitably protected from the unwanted actions of x-rays
or radium by lead-lined walls or chests. Film bins located in the processing room should
be protected by sheet lead.
c. Fumes. X-ray film must never be stored in drug rooms or other places
containing fumes of any kind. Illuminating gas, formalin, ammonia, volatile oils, sewer
gas, and similar substance will fog film, which is stored in an atmosphere containing
d. Pressure. Film should never be subjected to extreme pressure such as
wrinkling, bending, or rolling, because changes take place in the emulsion, which, upon
development, appear as tree-like artifacts on the finished film. To avoid pressure
markings, packages of unexposed film should always be stored on edge; they should
never be stacked one upon another.
e. Expiration Date. All film should be used before its expiration date.
f. Refrigeration. Storage of unexposed packages of film in refrigerators is
satisfactory provided packages are removed from 24 to 36 hours before they are to be
used. This procedure is to avoid condensing moisture on the film. Open boxes of film
should not be stored in refrigerators because of high humidity. Once a box of film is