safety

Lack of studies, questionable safety of full body airport x-rays continue to raise alarm

Sunday, August 19, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: airport scanners, X-rays, health risk

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) A dearth of studies, along with lingering questions about their safety are leading more U.S. passengers to opt out of walking through powerful backscatter X-ray machines used by Transportation Security Administration officials at some airport checkpoints.

Instead, more passengers are choosing the pat-down option, despite the TSA's horrible reputation for it, because they figure that's still safer than being exposed to the radiation emitted by the backscatter machines.

That concern was summarized by Yolanda Marin-Czachor recently in an interview with The New York Times. She told the paper she usually opted for the pat-downs before she got pregnant, but is insistent on avoiding the radiation-emitting machines altogether now.

"I had two miscarriages before this pregnancy," Marin-Czachor, 34, of Green Bay, Wis., told the paper, "and one of the first things my doctor said was: 'Do not go through one of those machines. There have not been any long-term studies. I would prefer you stay away from it.'"

In all, there are 244 of the machines in use at 36 airports around the country operating nearly non-stop, according to the TSA. Other airports use millimeter wave scanners - those which look like glass telephone booths and don't incorporate ionizing radiation - or metal detectors, the Times reported.

Questions remain about safety

And while most experts believe that as long as the X-ray machines are operating properly, they only expose passengers to extremely low ionizing radiation doses. But that factor alone doesn't account for a number of other questions many passengers and analysts alike have regarding long-term exposure to such machines, properly and timely calibration and whether they are examined as often as they should be.

For example, one recent study by the Marquette University College of Engineering found that the X-ray signal emitted by the machines was enough to reach organs beyond the skin, though it said the dose was well within safety limits. Another found that a billion backscatter scans per year would only lead to perhaps 100 radiation-induced cancers in the future.

But there is enough additional anecdotal evidence to continue to raise suspicions.

The European Union has banned the use of such machines - or any devices that emit radiation - out of safety concerns. In fact, in several European countries, the Times noted, it's against the law to X-ray someone without a medical reason (that used to be the prevailing though in the U.S. as well).

In addition, Johns Hopkins University's Applied Radiation Lab distanced itself from a reference to the institute on a web page of the TSA, where the agency was touting the safety of the backscatter machines.

"Advanced imaging technology screening is safe for all passengers, including children, pregnant women, and individuals with medical implants," the TSA said on its site before mentioning a study done by the Johns Hopkins lab which says the machine's radiation doses are below the limits set by the American National Standards Institute.

Sorry - We can't talk about it

According to International Business Times, the university said "its study only demonstrates that the radiation dosage is under the limit set by ANSI," and that a Johns Hopkins spokeswoman said those who conducted the testing weren't happy with the way the TSA characterized it.

The way the machines work is like this: a narrowly focused beam of high-intensity radiation moves quickly across the body. David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Medical Center, told the Times he worries that mechanical malfunctions in the machines could cause the beam to stop in a single place for even a few seconds, which would result in longer radiation exposure.

But few could know that because the TSA has kept much about how the machines actually operate a secret.

Naturally, the agency is touting their safety. Officials say that, in addition to the Johns Hopkins lab, the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the U.S. Army Public Health Command, have all assessed the machines.

"But," the Times reported, "researchers at these institutions have not always had direct access to the scanners in use, and some of the published reports about them have been heavily redacted, with the authors' names removed. Independent scientists say limited access has hampered their ability to evaluate the systems."

So, the secrecy - and the potentially unsafe operation of the machines - continues. Pat-down, anyone?

Sources:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com

http://www.bizjournals.com

http://europa.eu

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.