body

It's true: Airport body scanners could give you cancer

Monday, October 18, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: airport body scanners, cancer, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) The new, full-body security scanners being introduced at airports pose a greater skin cancer risk than governments have previously acknowledged and are especially dangerous to children and pregnant women, a new study has found.

The devices, known officially as backscatter X-ray machines, were introduced after the "Christmas Day Bomber" successfully got an explosive device through conventional airport screening. They use up to eight seconds of X-rays over the entire body to create a three-dimensional, full-body image of anything that passengers might be carrying beneath their clothing. More than a hundred of the scanners have already been rolled out at 32 U.S. airports, and they are being introduced in other countries, as well. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to have 450 of the scanners deployed by the end of 2010.

A new analysis of the radiation dose delivered by the machines, conducted by David Brenner and colleagues at Columbia University, found that because the beams concentrate X-rays on the body's skin, the effective dose may be 20 times higher than previously estimated.

Because the skin is one of the body's most radiation-sensitive organs, the scanners significantly increase the risk that passengers will develop basal cell carcinoma, a kind of skin cancer. Children and the 5 percent of adult passengers with certain relatively common gene mutations are at significantly higher risk due to their reduced ability to repair DNA damage.

"If there are increases in cancers as a result of irradiation of children, they would most likely appear some decades in the future," Brenner said.

Basal cell carcinoma normally occurs in the heads and necks of people between the ages of 50 and 70. For this reason, Brenner suggested that, at minimum, these areas of the body should not be scanned.

"The individual risks associated with X-ray backscatter scanners are probably extremely small," he said, "[but if] all 800 million people who use airports every year were screened with X-rays then the very small individual risk multiplied by the large number of screened people might imply a potential public health or societal risk. The population risk has the potential to be significant."

Brenner was a member of the U.S. government committee that originally set the safety guidelines for the devices, and was one of the members who endorsed their use. Brenner now says he never would have endorsed the scanners if he knew there were plans to use them on all passengers.

"There really is no other technology around where we're planning to X-ray such an enormous number of individuals," he warned. "It's really unprecedented in the radiation world."

The British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) responded to the study by reiterating its position that the scans are safe.

"The device has been approved for use within the United Kingdom by the Department for Transport and has been subjected to risk assessments from the Health Protection Agency," the CAA said. "To put the issue in perspective, the radiation received from the scanning process is the equivalent to two minutes radiation received on a Transatlantic flight. Under current regulations, up to 5,000 scans per person per year can be conducted safely."

The new study is not the first to raise concerns over the devices, however. In February, the Interagency Committee on Radiation Safety issued an internal report to groups including the European Commission, International Atomic Energy Agency, Nuclear Energy Agency and the World Health Organization warning that pregnant women and children should never be exposed to the devices.

"The issue raised by the report is that even though doses from the systems are very low, they feel there is still a need for countries to justify exposures," said Michael Clark of the United Kingdom's Health Protection Agency.

The ability of the devices to produce naked images of passengers has also produced challenges on privacy grounds.

Sources for this story include: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsa... ; http://www.counterpunch.org/nader06252010.ht... ; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-12....

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.


Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.