Jan 25, 2011
A radiation firing body scanner has been identified as the possible cause of death in the case of a 57 year old Palestinian woman who died over the weekend at a border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.
Haaretz reports that Palestinian sources are blaming the use of a “U.S.-made advanced portal using millimeter wave holographic technology to screen passengers for weapons and explosives” for the woman’s death.
It is believed that the woman did not mention to security officials that she had a pacemaker.
The machine is said to have interfered with the woman’s pacemaker. Around half an hour after passing through the machine at the Rafah crossing, she is said to have suddenly collapsed.
She was pronounced dead at an Egyptian hospital shortly afterwards.
The same crossing was closed last week by Palestinian authorities in protest of the installation of the scanning technology which they believe to be unsafe, according to the report.
The millimeter wave scanners emit a wavelength of ten to one millimeter called a millimeter wave, these waves are considered Extremely High Frequency (EHF), the highest radio frequency wave produced. EHF runs a range of frequencies from 30 to 300 gigahertz, they are also abbreviated mmW. These waves are also known as tetrahertz (THz) radiation.
Experts have previously warned that people with medical implants such as pace-makers should avoid electromagnetic pulse generating body scanners as they can significantly alter the waveform of the pacemaker pulse.
As we have previously highlighted, there are other dangers associated with such scanning devices.
The force generated from tetrahertz waves is small but, according to scientists, the waves can â€˜unzipâ€™ or tear apart double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the DNA that could interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication.
Those who pass through the scanners will be at risk of long term health effects, such as cancers, according to some scientists.
The reason millimeter-wave bands are used by the scanners is that they render clothing and organic materials translucent. However, while this allows the observer to see metal objects concealed beneath clothing, it does not necessarily reveal low-density materials such as plastic, chemicals or liquid, precisely the materials used by the so called underwear bomber.
This was the main reason that the manufacturers of the technology had to admit that it probably would not have prevented the incident form taking place (if you discount the fact that the bomber was aided through security by unidentified accomplices).
This is the first reported case of someone actually dying as a result of going through one of the scanners. Unfortunately, it is almost certain not to be the last.
Meanwhile Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano, or big sis as she has been nicknamed, recently announced that hundreds more of the body scanners would be installed into American airports, with the long term goal to make their use mandatory for all air travelers.
This article was posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 10:54 am