January 5, 2011
No matter how many times the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) claims the machines are safe and pose no threat to travelers or personnel, naked body scanners that emit ionizing radiation are, indeed, a very serious health threat. And Dr. Edward Dauer, head of radiology at Florida Medical Center, agrees, having recently come forward to explain that naked body scanners can cause cancer, particularly in those over age 65 and in women who are said to be genetically prone to developing breast cancer.
“I think it’s potentially a real danger to the public,” Dr. Dauer is quoted as saying by theSouth Florida Sun Sentinel. Contrary to popular belief, even the so-called “small doses” of radiation emitted from the machines are toxic, and represent “additional exposure” that could lead to the onset of cancer.
The TSA continues to insist that the ionizing radiation emitted from its backscatter X-ray naked body scanner is minimal, and that individuals are exposed to far more background radiation every single day just living their normal lives. But the agency has not provided any solid proof to back this claim, and many experts say that the radiation emitted is concentrated on the skin in a much more harmful way (http://www.infowars.com/pilots-association-urges-airline-pilots-to-opt-out-of-tsa-naked-body-scanners/).
In fact, a group of scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), has publicly countered the TSA’s claim that naked body scanners are no more dangerous than background radiation. The group says this claim is highly “misleading” because background radiation on airplanes, for instance, is absorbed by the whole body, whereas during a naked body scan, it is focused directly on the skin and its underlying tissues.
“Ionizing means it knocks the electrons out of your body, which breaks your DNA chain, which can cause death or cancer,” said Dr. Dauer. “Adding to this notion, John Sedat, head of the UCSF opposition group, wrote in a letter to the Obama Administration that “[a]ny glitch in power that stops the device could cause an intense radiation dose to a single spot on the skin.”
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has repeatedly challenged the constitutionality of naked body scanners in the first place, and is currently pressing a lawsuit to stop the entire body scanner program, which it rightly says is “unlawful, invasive, and ineffective” (http://epic.org/privacy/airtravel/backscatter/).
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This article was posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 3:42 am