The mainstream media might not give it much coverage, but information has been slowly leaking out into the public sphere that airport body scanners could be dangerous to people who pass through them. They could be more dangerous than the government previously admitted.
Like the X-ray vans or ZBVs we covered a few weeks ago, they could be most dangerous to children and pregnant women. Oh well, as long as it helps people feel safe right?
Right now it appears that only independent media outlets like Natural News are willing to continually bring much needed attention to this issue.
If you remember, the body scanners were put in airports after the “Christmas Day Bomber” mysteriously got a bomb through airport security. There are now over 100 airport body scanners in 32 U.S. airports. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wants to have 450 of the scanners in use by the end of 2010.
These babies are going global too. Protective governments are joining the party as other countries are showing a desire to scan their citizens and create three-dimensional, full-body images of anything they might have under their garments.
There seems to be a lack of desire in the mainstream media to explore in depth what the health risks of these body scanners might be. So it is not surprising to me that nobody paid much attention to the assessment by David Brenner and his colleagues at Columbia University.
His study found that the beams that focus on skin from the scanners might cause the dose of X-rays to be 20 times higher than what was originally estimated.
Brenner is quoted in a David Gutierrez story from Natural News.
“The individual risks associated with X-ray backscatter scanners are probably extremely small,” he said, “but if all 800 million people who use airports every year were screened with X-rays then the very small individual risk multiplied by the large number of screened people might imply a potential public health or societal risk. The population risk has the potential to be significant.”
Brenner was a member of a U.S. government committee that set the guidelines for these airport scanners. He used to approve of the use of X-ray scanners in airports, now he’s not so sure.
“There really is no other technology around where we’re planning to X-ray such an enormous number of individuals,” he warns. “It’s really unprecedented in the radiation world.”
I tend to believe any scientist who worked for a government agency and is willing to change their opinion on a matter of safety. You don’t find many believable scientists who have done work for the government these days.
It’s not worth the risk to put people’s health in danger. Not to mention these scanners can be used to create nudie photos of airline passengers.
In the name of national security these scanners have shown up all over, and from everything we are hearing it sounds like they may have been put in use too soon. I am hoping that people will slowly start to realize that technology probably shouldn’t be the solution to all of our problems.
We need a sensible foreign policy to keep the U.S. safe. What we do not need is more unsafe ways to use cutting edge technologies to strip people of their civil liberties.