While metal detectors are a unique form of security in helping keep the public safe, there are other elements about them that make them interesting and intriguing beyond scientific means. There are various uses for metal detectors and they play a big role in how metals are found and used. The following points are just a few other aspects that add to their significance.
- When metal detectors were first developed during the 1930s they were initially bulky and heavy. Many of the models back then were not as convenient and compact as we know them today. Some detectors use a considerable amount of energy, such as from batteries, to increase their abilities in detecting objects.
- Some detectors are used especially on food products to detect foreign objects that may be hiding.
- While this is rare, some people have been known to develop an allergic reaction after walking through a metal detector. Medical researchers believe magnetic elements in the detector may have some effect on minerals and genes within the human body.
- Most commonly these metal detectors are used in airports or courthouses, but are also used in various other occupations and industries such as engineering, military, archeology and mineralogy.
- All magnetic metals are not capable of setting off a metal detector. Yet, there are a wide variety of metals that can set off a detector. Thicker metals are more likely able to trigger an alarm on a detector. Common types of metals that set off a metal detector include copper, gold and silver. Coins, cellphones and keys are a few common items that may cause a detector to go off.
- The effectiveness of a metal detector depends on the technology it uses. Some have microchips that help detect or transmit magnetic charges. A metal detector can be made with high or low frequency detection. This is also known as an induction balance system.
- A metal detector can be set to a sensitive setting to track smaller pieces of metal. This aspect could affect how it detects dangerous objects such as a gun, knife or explosives. In such cases, it has been known to cause too many false alarms.
- Household appliances such as a microwave have similar electromagnetic elements found in a metal detector.
- X-ray scanners used at various airports are NOT the same thing as the metal detectors you walk through. These X-ray systems can have similar levels of radiation found in x-rays used at dental offices. But, despite this element, walk-through detectors are deemed safe for everyone, including pregnant women.