From Scientific American, typical and horrible.

Experts say the dose from the backscatter is negligible when compared to naturally occurring background radiation, but a linear model shows even such trivial amounts increase the number of cancer cases…

On Sept. 23, 1998, a panel of radiation safety experts gathered at a Hilton hotel in Maryland to evaluate a new device that could detect hidden weapons and contraband. The machine, known as the Secure 1000, beamed X-rays at people to see underneath their clothing.

One after another, the experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration raised questions about the machine because it violated a longstanding principle in radiation safety — that humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a medical benefit…

Research suggests that anywhere from six to 100 U.S. airline passengers each year could get cancer from the machines. Still, the TSA has repeatedly defined the scanners as “safe,” glossing over the accepted scientific view that even low doses of ionizing radiation — the kind beamed directly at the body by the X-ray scanners — increase the risk of cancer.

“Even though it’s a very small risk, when you expose that number of people, there’s a potential for some of them to get cancer,” said Kathleen Kaufman, the former radiation management director in Los Angeles County, who brought the prison X-rays to the FDA panel’s attention.

Read the whole thing.

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9 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Trish S says:

    The last time I flew, the TSA peeps were very rude, and became angry when I wouldn’t go through the machine opting for the pat down. I waited a half hour for a female TSA agent to be available to do her job. The entire experience was the antithesis of the standout phrase contained in the above article:

    “One after another, the experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration raised questions RAISED QUESTIONS about the machine because it violated a longstanding PRINCIPLE in radiation safety — that humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a MEDICAL BENEFIT…”

    In addition to the above, the whole process is the left’s way to make us feel as if we don’t matter, on a myriad of levels, as human beings

  2. Kat says:

    Huh…who da thunk it…..the Govt misleading the American people! I’m just shocked and speechless! They were completely upfront about the swine flu/vaccine a few years……oh wait…..not then! Well… they were totally honest about TARP and the Stimilus bills….ummmmm no guess not then either! Oh I know!….Obamacare is going to bring medical costs down and it will…..NO? Hmmmmm…..NEVER MIND!!!!!

    • AniMel says:

      Kat, nearly 80% of my fire department – a hell of a lot of medically-trained men and women – refused to get the H1N1 vaccine when the big scare came around. That should tell you something!

      • Kat says:

        Agree Animel! I worked for a Dr for 18 years and I refused to get it! I could only think of a sarcastic response to this story….its like same ol’ same ol’ from this regime (even though previous admins have not been much better at times)!

  3. AniMel says:

    The government has no business doing this in the first place. What happens when the bad guys start doing what we used to call “kiestering” in prison? The backscatter doesn’t penetrate body cavities. So we’ve established that it’s an invasion of privacy, and I promise that it will be useless…now we hear it from experts something that was suspected all along, that it’s a genuine health hazard.

    Color me shocked and appalled.

  4. Ken-P says:

    If you read “The Metabolife Story: The Rape of Cinderella” by Michael J. Ellis, you will learn how the FDA destroyed his company at the behest of big pharma.

    I worked in electronics production at a company called IVAC making electronic medical devices, and I have nothing bad to say about that experience, but that’s where I learned that the FDA are the cops and the FBI for that line of business; all their rules extend into the production assembly workplace, and they can shut you down if they want to. And lately we are just beginning to learn the extent of their corruption.

    Actually there’s a little gallows humor and irony in the fact that airport x-ray machines are under their purview. Overdosing the public with radiation was okay with liberals until somebody told the Obama gang it was a transparency device.

  5. Maynard says:

    FWIW…I can’t get excited about those numbers (6 to 100). That’s a statistical zero. You won’t get cancer this way, and you won’t win the lottery either.

    I’m vastly more concerned about the big picture; that travel has been turned into a huge nightmare of indignities and intrusions and delays. And that the governing ideology is political correctness, meaning that the bottom line is we feel not only abused but pointlessly abused. Or maybe it’s worse than pointless; maybe the entire point is to get Main Street used to the concept of being probed by authority.

    You don’t have to be a geezer to remember when getting on an airplane was as easy as getting on a bus. Then the PLO started blowing up airplanes, and the world decided to coddle them instead of acknowledging that we were at war. So now we live under constant siege, and we humiliate our own people as part of our endless apology for some sin that we must be guilty of.

    We could solve these problems if we wanted to. How do you dissuade a suicide bomber? Oh, maybe let him know all his relatives will end up staked to an anthill until they die. What’s that, you say, we can’t do that to innocent people? Well what the hell do you think we’re already doing? We’re just doing it to millions of our own people, while at the same time failing to protect them. If we’re going to abandon principles, at least maybe we should think about doing it in a targeted direction.

    That’s not a proposal, just a provocative notion. A suggestion that we’ve got a problem and it’s unacceptable, and a prod to think outside the box.

  6. AniMel says:

    I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who just got back from a deployment. We were sitting outside having a beer, talking about the similarities between combat zones overseas and the barrios in Phoenix, when a neighbor butted right into the conversation. He had been in Europe for four years and done two tours before getting back here and he said, “what the hell happened here? I leave for a few years and you all lose your minds! I get back and you’re doing full-body x-rays in airports? You all went insane!”

    The neighbor pokes his head over the block wall and says, “well, while YOU were over there sunning yourselves, WE have actually been doing something to stop those bastards!”

    My buddy just blinked at the man. I replied, “yeah, and we’ve been doing SUCH a bang-up job that we stopped the underwear bomber dead in his tracks.”

    The neighbor muttered a curse and went back inside.

  7. otlset says:

    What bugs me is the thought of scummy islamists in some safe house in Pakistan (or a London suburb) cackling as they watch the airport tie-ups and indignities in the west on TV. “By Allah, the strategy is working!”

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