Are full body scanners at airports safe?

May 2011, Warren Matthews

Summary

We all now live in a world with massive increases of radiation from all sources and there is no escaping it. What is going to be the long term effect of all this? No one knows, but, an effect on overall health is bound to result.

We all now live in a world with massive increases of radiation from all sources and there is no escaping it. What is going to be the long term effect of all this? No one knows, but, an effect on overall health is bound to result.

I think that we should all endeavour to avoid any more exposure wherever we can…and that includes unnecessary scans at hospitals which tend to be grossly overused.

Over the last year or two we have had to contend with the increasing use of full body scanners at airports. Fortunately we don’t have any in New Zealand as it would require a change in legislation to permit them because of privacy issues.

But, I still get faced with these questionable machines when I travel to the US. Apart from the invasion of privacy from the use of these scanners there are certainly a lot of unanswered questions regarding the safety of them.

Recently I had an email from a radiologist who warned me not to believe the assertions that these machines are safe. Now, I am no radiologist or scientist so I have no way of assessing just how big the danger is from these machines, but, just applying common sense principles there is undoubtedly a risk which is why I will never go through one of them.

It is disappointing that there has not been more public objection to these machines, or at least insistence that independent parties take actual operating machine and subject them to a series of tests to check on safety and assess the risk of malfunction on any unfortunate individual who happened to be in one at the time.

But, as I said I am no expert on this so I thought that you may like to read a comprehensive article on the subject by clicking here.

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