Full-body airport security scanners to fry travelers with ionizing radiation

Friday, February 12, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: ionizing radiation, airport scanners, health news

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(NaturalNews) The attempted flight 253 terrorist attack on Christmas Day gave way to the immediate unveiling of full-body human x-ray machines that some alleged experts believe should be installed at every airport in order to ensure national security. These large, expensive machines emit a hefty dose of ionic radiation that can cause DNA damage and may contribute to the development of cancer.

Each time there is a terrorist attack or an attempted terrorist attack, the federal Transportation Security Agency (TSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seem to have yet another invasive technology up their sleeve that they claim will make our skies safer. This time, TSA has proposed using giant backscatter x-ray machines on every passenger.

These devices send ionizing radiation a few centimeters into the skin which outputs an image of a passenger's naked body. TSA officials can then inspect the image to see if a passenger is hiding weapons or other prohibited materials somewhere on or in their bodies.

Aside from the fact that the new protocol is grossly invasive of personal privacy and an obstruction of individual liberty, the ionizing radiation emitted from the machines threatens to damage chromosomal DNA and human cell proteins which can lead to cancer and other problems.

TSA Security Laboratory Directory Susan Hallowell insists that the x-ray technology used in the machines is perfectly safe, equating it to be "about the same as sunshine." Recent research, however, is indicating that there is virtually no safe level of ionizing radiation; even very low doses can cause significant harm over time.

Dr. John Gofman, Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, has been studying ionizing radiation for years and has determined that low doses can accumulate over time and induce things like cancer and ischemic heart disease. Americans receive x-rays so often that the radiological impact is quite high. Dr. Gofman says that x-rays play a role in 50 percent of cancers and 60 percent of heart diseases in the U.S. In breast cancer, x-rays are a co-factor in about 75 percent of cases.

Since heart disease and cancer are the top two causes of death in the U.S. and x-rays play a role in the majority of cases, it is valid to question the legitimacy of introducing yet one more source of ionizing radiation. The irony is that, according to Dr. Gofman, TSA is responding to an attempted terrorist bombing by suggesting the forcible "bombing" of our DNA with damaging radiation.

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