TSA to launch independent study of X-Ray Body Scanners for health risks

Michael Grabell of ProPublica: "Following months of congressional pressure, the Transportation Security Administration has agreed to contract with the National Academy of Sciences to study the health effects of the agency's X-ray body scanners." Whether the academy will conduct its own tests of the scanners or review previous studies is not yet clear.


  1. Can’t they just give me a ton of money to tell them that “the scanners subject people to levels of radiation above background”, followed up by “elevated radiation is bad…”

  2. After irradiating a few billion test subjects now it’s time to do the epidemiology.

    Next step is to ensure they’re not liable if there is found to be a causal link.

  3. So if it turns out that they machine do expose you to dangerously high levels of radiation, does this mean that the TSA and the manufacturer are liable, and that the feds intend to get a refund on all the machines from the manufacturer by returning them, since they’ll no longer be able to use them?  (Quit laughing.)

    1. Probably the same reason the government has the power to stop me from building a shoddy skyscraper on my own land that threatens to fall on my neighbor’s home?

          1. Probably one a them Constitutional literalists who’s never actually read the Constitution. You know, the one who thinks Facebook violates his FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS.

  4. “They say the risk is minimal, but statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays,” Dr Michael Love, who runs an X-ray lab at the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at Johns Hopkins University school of medicine, told AFP. “No exposure to X-ray is considered beneficial. We know X-rays are hazardous but we have a situation at the airports where people are so eager to fly that they will risk their lives in this manner,”

    The only prudent thing is to listen to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Commission on Radiological Protection: “The ICRP recommends that any exposure above the natural background radiation should be kept as low as reasonably achievable.”   We can reasonably throw body scanners that emit ionizing radiation in the trash can, and we should.  We could also listen to the National Academy of Sciences:  “The committee has concluded that there is no compelling evidence to indicate a dose threshold below which the risk of tumor induction is zero.”   All ionizing radiation, at any dose, causes cancer.  Lower doses cause fewer cancers, but there is no safe dose. Read more about this, including an explanation of why scientific studies to establish the danger of very low doses of radiation aren’t feasible, at: http://www.iaea.org

Comments are closed.