- TSA Full Body Scanner Radiation Safety Tests Were Rigged
- TSA Body Scanners Show Radiation Levels 10 Times Higher Than Expected
- Inside TSA Body Scanners: How Terahertz Waves Tear Apart Human DNA
- Review of the TSA X-ray backscatter body scanner safety report: hide your kids, hide your wife
- Dr. Russell Blaylock: Body Scanners More Dangerous Than Feds Admit
- Airport Body Scanners: Why You should REJECT ‘Routine’ NON-Diagnostic X-ray
- How Body Scanner Terahertz Waves Can Tear Apart DNA
- Full-Body Scanners Emitting ‘High-Energy’ Radiation Increase Cancer Risk
- US prisoners forced to submit to radiation experiments for private foreign companies
A sign at a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint instructs passengers about the use of the full-body scanner at O’Hare International Airport. (Getty Images)
– U.S. Government Glossed Over Cancer Concerns As It Rolled Out Airport X-Ray Scanners (ProPublica, Nov. 1, 2011):
Update (11/01): This story has been updated with a comment from The Chertoff Group, from which ProPublica had sought comment before publication.
Look for a PBS NewsHour story on X-ray body scanners, reported in conjunction with ProPublica, to air later this month.
On Sept. 23, 1998, a panel of radiation safety experts gathered at a Hilton hotel in Maryland to evaluate a new device that could detect hidden weapons and contraband. The machine, known as the Secure 1000, beamed X-rays at people to see underneath their clothing.
One after another, the experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration raised questions about the machine because it violated a longstanding principle in radiation safety — that humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a medical benefit.
“I think this is really a slippery slope,” said Jill Lipoti, who was the director of New Jersey’s radiation protection program. The device was already deployed in prisons; what was next, she and others asked — courthouses, schools, airports? “I am concerned … with expanding this type of product for the traveling public,” said another panelist, Stanley Savic, the vice president for safety at a large electronics company. “I think that would take this thing to an entirely different level of public health risk.”
The machine’s inventor, Steven W. Smith, assured the panelists that it was highly unlikely that the device would see widespread use in the near future. At the time, only 20 machines were in operation in the entire country.
“The places I think you are not going to see these in the next five years is lower-security facilities, particularly power plants, embassies, courthouses, airports and governments,” Smith said. “I would be extremely surprised in the next five to 10 years if the Secure 1000 is sold to any of these.”
Today, the United States has begun marching millions of airline passengers through the X-ray body scanners, parting ways with countries in Europe and elsewhere that have concluded that such widespread use of even low-level radiation poses an unacceptable health risk. The government is rolling out the X-ray scanners despite having a safer alternative that the Transportation Security Administration says is also highly effective.
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Tags: Body Scanners, Chertoff Group, FDA, Global News, Government, Health, Michael Chertoff, Politics, Radiation, Society, TSA, U.S., X-ray