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Body scanners

Exposed documents reveal Napolitano, TSA lied about safety of cancer-causing naked body scanners

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: body scanners, TSA, health news

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(NaturalNews) Remember when Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano claimed back in 2010 that the US Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) naked body scanners had been proven safe by research conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (http://epic.org/privacy/backscatter/USAToday...)? A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request recently brought to light internal emails that were sent by NIST to DHS that basically decry Napolitano's false assertion that NIST had verified the safety of the naked body scanners.

Amid the string of emails discussing the matter, an undisclosed sender explains that NIST was "a little concerned" over Napolitano's public reassurances that TSA's naked body scanners are safe. After all, NIST does not test products, and it never tested the naked body scanners in the first place. Napolitano apparently took the individual machine dose measurements that NIST had gathered and twisted them to say what she wanted them to say, which was that the machines are safe.

You can view a partially-censored copy of that email exchange here:

Worse, NIST had actually warned DHS and TSA that the machines were not necessarily safe, and that airport screening agents should avoid standing next to them because of the harmful radiation they emit. It is unclear whether or not this warning was ever taken seriously by TSA officials.

Napolitano also falsely claimed that research conducted by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory confirms the safety of naked body scanners, even though the research actually suggests the opposite. Dr. Michael Love from the school publicly stated that the machines are going to give people skin cancer, and the specific findings of the report indicate that "radiation zones" around the machines emit enough radiation to exceed the "General Public Dose Limit."

One thing is for sure, though. Many current and former TSA agents who have developed cancers are now speaking out against the machines, as they believe repeated and continual exposure to them is responsible for their conditions. Many TSA agents have repeatedly requested that they be given dosimeters to wear that will warn them of dangerous radiation exposure -- but TSA higher-ups have never followed through in addressing their concerns, despite empty promises that they would.

Sources for this story include:


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