Sunday, October 21, 2012

TSA Removing X-Ray Body Scanners From Major Airports

TSA Removes X-Ray Body Scanners From Major Airports by Michael Grabell ProPublica, Oct. 19, 2012

[Excerpted] The Transportation Security Administration has been quietly removing its X-ray body scanners from major airports over the last few weeks and replacing them with machines that radiation experts believe are safer.

The TSA says it made the decision not because of safety concerns but to speed up checkpoints at busier airports. It means, though, that far fewer passengers will be exposed to radiation because the X-ray scanners are being moved to smaller airports.

VIDEO: The Science Behind Airport Body Scanners

The backscatters, as the X-ray scanners are known, were swapped out at Boston Logan International Airport in early October. Similar replacements have occurred at Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O'Hare, Orlando and John F. Kennedy in New York, the TSA confirmed Thursday.

The X-ray scanners have faced a barrage of criticism since the TSA began rolling them out nationwide after the failed underwear bombing on Christmas Day 2009. One reason is that they emit a small dose of ionizing radiation, which at higher levels has been linked to cancer....

The European Union prohibited the backscatters last year "in order not to risk jeopardizing citizens' health and safety," according to a statement at the time. The last scanners were removed from Manchester Airport in the United Kingdom last month....



  1. I call 'bullshit'. Not on you, Majia, i call it on TSA.

    It's TSA's gropers! They will have much more work in the mean time. That is my opinion and it is indeed conjecture.

    On another angle, what effect does X-ray photons have upon hot particles? Can it stimulate decay? If so, have their images been getting more difficult to interpret lately?

    I would that i had facts to share here, not hypothesis. My apologies if i am off.

  2. It is good that they are starting to remove these machines, though I suspect they are just putting them in less frequently used airports so that estimates regarding the total number of cancers apt to be caused by them (which is based on the total population # being exposed to them) will look lower.

    Here is a letter from several professors at UC-San Francisco, who have raised questions about the alleged safety of these machines:

    They list a number of sub-populations that could be particularly at risk from this exposure.

    While I don't like the prospect of the TSA "groping" innocent travelers any more more than TechDud does, my view of the available options (i.e., getting frisked or getting irradiated) is that one's pride can heal, but one's cells cannot.

    Incidentally, I read/heard some time ago that Chertoff and others who were responsible for the decision to put these things in airports was also a very significant investor in one of the main companies supplying them. What's a few extra skin cancers to him when he will have enjoyed his profits long before the cancers show, few will recognize the connection, and it will be impossible to definitely prove that any particular person's disease was caused by them (though statistically it is certain that a number of cancers WILL be caused among the total population exposed to them).

    1. Thank you for the comment and link.

      Good information.

  3. This is THE definitive video linking the TSA backscatter machines to the potential for cancers.

    It is an interview of Dr. John Sedat and Dr. Peter Rez.

    This video should have gone viral.

    www dot youtube dot com /watch?v=eS0UxXDNs4w

  4. Thanks for sharing the information that TSA removing X-Ray body scanners from major airports.
    airport security x ray scanner

  5. Efficiency is a good thing but not at any price.. We should certainly avoid being exposed to radiation..


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