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Airport Scanners Causing Cancer in TSA Officials?

Airport Scanners Causing Cancer in TSA Officials?

If you’ve been following this blog, you probably would have read Warren’s entry about airport scanners and the potential radiation risk they pose to people travelling on airlines. If you’ve missed it, you can read it here

The reason I’m mentioning this again is because it seems that airport scanners have returned to the headlines…again, for the wrong reasons. According to this article on the Time website, it’s not just airline travelers who are at risk of radiation as a result of these ‘security devices’.

Apparently Transportation Security Administration (TSA) union representatives in Boston are claiming that the full-body scanners are responsible for a cancer cluster among various airport security workers.

In fact, representatives from the TSA union at Boston’s Logan Airport have even asked the agency to provide screeners with radiation-monitoring devices…at the time that this entry was written, nothing yet has been done in this regard.

And so the debate begins…

Industry experts disagree about the actual level of risk that these scanners pose and to whom… while scientists argue that the TSA only relies on the data and safety tests performed by the suppliers of the scanners.

Regardless of how one looks at it, the evidence starts stacking up…frequent exposure to these full-body scanners can only increase the risk of cancer and various other conditions as a result of prolonged radiation exposure. This includes TSA workers, pilots, flight attendants and frequent fliers.

Think about it, it’s radiation and it doesn’t matter how small the levels are, prolonged and frequent exposure can only have one outcome.

You can read more articles about this by clicking on the links below:

Comments  (2)

  • Jeff Buske
    July 07, 2011

    Dean, great post!

    The dose from the machines is about 20x greater than reported due to use of "effective" dose that is not applicable to back-scatter x-rays.

    This is the reason we design radiation protective items for travelers 18 mo ago.  Anyone with basic health and physics would know the scanners are a public health risk.  You can protect privacy and sensitive tissues if force into scanner or are in the security area. Your readers can learn more here:  


  • Image for Dean Davis
    Dean Davis - Blog Contributor
    July 09, 2011

    No problem Jeff, thanks for your feedback and the links you provided. I'm sure readers will no doubt find them interesting as well.

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