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A table-top system for implementing X-ray absorption imaging measurements of the Hg vapor in high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps is described. The system is based on a commercial X-ray tube source and an optical charge-coupled device array detector, with conversion of X-rays to optical photons by a phosphor. The sensitivity of the system is measured and found to exceed what has been obtained previously with synchrotron-produced X-rays. Hg column densities are measured in an HID lamp with a precision of 7 times 1016 cm-2.