Wednesday, December 30, 2009


You have got to be kidding me? The number one concern over the use of full body scanners as a security measure is privacy?

Throughout the day, in all types of media, people have made cases both for and against these scanners, but at the very most I have heard ONE person mention the effects of this low dose radiation on our bodies.

There is information out there about the amount of radiation emitted. There are also several different types of scanners, so some may not emit radiation at all. But to be dismissive about the risk is to beg for trouble.

If you read this blog with any amount of regularity then you know that the machines we use for X-rays have been found to expose persons to more radiation than initially expected, that the radiation exposure accumulates over time and that it DOES cause some cancer. It is also now known that the amount of radiation emitted is variable by machine and not always consistent even with the same machine.

So let us just back up a minute. Instead of spending all our time and money gathering data on what we will do with the films, who will see them, how they will be trained and which software will be used; let us gather data on SAFETY of the devices. Here is a good place to try some comparative research. What do these scanners do to our bodies and think about it long term. If someone starts to travel at age 8 and travels weekly for most of his or her life - what are the odds of complications and what exactly are the complications. What about children? What about pregnant women? What about women who do not know they are pregnant yet? Which scanner carries the least risk? Who will monitor the use of the scanners and check their indices for radiation levels? Do the levels have to be adjusted based on size? Do we need a new "department" to regulate airport security scanning devices? Would the consumer safety division cover this?

I am flying Friday and I can tell you with full certainty that I would choose the pat down before I stepped in an X-ray machine... but I would prefer being "evaluated" by a drug sniffing, bomb seeking, gel searching dog.

I am not likely to have to make a choice though, because I am in the USA and staying in the USA, which also points to a few flaws with the security decisions the government makes, but if I go there I really am going away from the mission of my blog.......dratz.. maybe I better start another blog.

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