Arizona State University physics professor Peter Rez calculated the amount of radiation exposure a human is likely to receive in one of those newfangled Rapiscan porno-scanners the TSA is so fond of, and determined that exposure to be roughly one-fiftieth to one-hundredth the amount of a standard chest X-ray.
From an MSNBC report:
He calculated the risk of getting cancer from a single scan at about 1 in 30 million, "which puts it somewhat less than being killed by being struck by lightning in any one year," he told me.
While the risk of getting a fatal cancer from the screening is minuscule, it's about equal to the probability that an airplane will get blown up by a terrorist, he added. "So my view is there is not a case to be made for deploying them to prevent such a low probability event."
And in that same MSNBC item,
A group of scientists at the University of California at San Francisco laid out their concerns in a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, highlighting in particular the potential for the X-ray dose concentrated on the skin to pose a health concern for children and other vulnerable populations, such as people with HIV.
"We are unanimous in believing that the potential health consequences need to be rigorously studied before these scanners are adopted. Modifications that reduce radiation exposure need to be explored as soon as possible," the letter said. Among the signers were David Agard, John Sedat (a professor emeritus) and Robert Stroud, all professors of biochemistry and biophysics; and Marc Shuman, professor of medicine.
A copy of that letter follows, below.
And the FDA's response is here.
Are airport X-ray scanners harmful? [MSNBC Cosmic Log, via BB Submitterator, thanks Shane]
Behold, the Blue Marlin, a “semi-submersible heavy lift ship” that is capable of hoisting and transplanting other, full-sized ships (that is ships as big or bigger than a US Destroyer-class vessel) all around the oceans.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
Phone chargers usually only deliver a few volts of juice at a feeble amperage, but they’ll deliver a lot more if you give them the chance. The BBC writes that a UK man died in the bathtub after being shocked by a charger connected to an extension cord. Richard Bull, 32, died when his iPhone […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]