informationliberation
The news you're not supposed to know...




An Introduction to Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand Everything
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
(more)
Article posted Jan 10 2010, 7:09 PM Category: Brave New World Source: DiagnosticImaging.com Print

Whole-body airport scanners are basically safe—or are they?

By John C. Hayes

Since the attempted explosion of an airliner as it was landing in Detroit on Christmas Day by an alleged terrorist from Nigeria, global air safety experts have been scrambling to enact new safety measures. A quick answer has come in the form of whole-body scanners that use low-level radiation to allow screeners to see through clothing to identify hidden weapons or explosives.

These things have been around for a while, but, outside of a few pilot locations, haven’t really gained much attention until now. Given the circumstances of the Detroit incident, we shouldn’t be surprised that airports all over the world are rushing these systems into use.

Most of the press has been concerned with privacy issues—the systems essentially strip passengers naked—and focused far less on health safety matters. Still, the safety issue is starting to engage the public. Recent news reports have suggested the new scanners are basically safe. But a more nuanced look at the question suggests the answers are not yet all that clear.

There are two technologies in use in the U.S.: Backscatter technology uses x-rays delivering less than 10 microrem of radiation per scan, equivalent to the radiation one receives inside an aircraft flying for two minutes at 30,000 feet, according to the American College of Radiology. Another approach relies on millimeter-wave technology, which uses radio waves in the millimeter-wave spectrum. Two rotating antennae cover the passenger from head to toe with low-level radiofrequency energy.

The ACR said it was not aware that either of the scanning technologies that the Transportation Security Agency is considering would present a significant biological threat for passengers screened. Indeed, ACR chair Dr. James Thrall was quoted on ABC news as saying, “the individual x-rays themselves are very low energy. And unlike the x-ray spectrum that we use in medicine, the backscatter x-rays don't really penetrate to the organs in the body.” Click here for the article.

The ABC article also had some useful comparisons: If, after a body scan, a passenger had four hours of flying and a two-and-a-half hour layover in Denver, given the increased proximity to the sun from the high altitudes, the scan would be equal to about one seventieth of the overall radiation exposure.

OK, so far so good for backscatter radiation. It’s an ionizing radiation risk, but certainly smaller than the risk from the plane flight that follows. What about the millimeter-wave technology that operates in a different part of the spectrum?

The National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements, which vouched for the ACR’s position on the backscatter radiation scanners, hasn’t reached a conclusion on the millimeter-wave technology, its president, Thomas Tenforde, Ph.D., told Diagnostic Imaging. The NCRP, which operates under a Congressional charter, would like to take a look at the new technology, but hasn’t had the opportunity so far.

Millimeter-wave scanners are probably within bounds, Tenforde said, but there should be an effort to verify that they are safe for frequent use. According to Tenforde, standards have been established for RF exposures up to 300 gigahertz, but millimeter-wave technology may operate outside those established standards, and potential bioeffects need to be evaluated.

Also, one study by a group at Los Alamos National Labs argues that terahertz radiation, which, although in the RF spectrum, is much higher than the 300 GHz level, does have bioeffects. The study also cites other papers finding bioeffects from exposure to the THz spectrum. The Los Alamos researchers say that while the forces generated are tiny, resonant effects could allow THz waves to unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication. The study describes a model for assessing the bioeffects of THz radiation and is drawing attention from critics of the whole-body scanners.

A Wikipedia site devoted to the millimeter-wave scanners says they operate just below the THz radiation range, and does include, under the heading “possible health effects,” a short description of the Los Alamos research.





Latest Brave New World
- School Inoculates Third Grader in 'Vaccine Pilot Program' Without Parental Permission
- Parents told to vaccinate newborn or have him seized by the state
- Actress Denounced Over Refusal to Vaccinate Kids
- Vegas Residents Sign Petition to 'Lower Kids' IQs' with Fluoride
- Forced Medicine: The Philosophy Behind Fluoridation
- Former Marine claims military vaccines gave him brain damage
- Our Masters See Us As Cattle -- Or Guinea Pigs
- Veteran Class Certified in Drug 'Guinea Pig' Case









No Comments Posted Add Comment


Add Comment
Name
Comment

* No HTML


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below
 


PLEASE NOTE
Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy



Advanced Search
Username:

Password:

Remember Me
Forgot Password?
Register

Cop Stops Fellow Cop From Choking a Handcuffed Man, She Was Then Beaten and Fired - 12/18Thieves Yell "Police" Before Invading Home, Shooting and Robbing Resident - 12/18Tennessee Town Passes Policy Banning Negative Comments About The Town's Government - 12/18A Peace Officer Defies the "Blue Tribe": The Exile of Officer Cariol Horne - 12/19Obama Commutes Sentences for Eight Drug Offenders - 12/18For Punitive Populists, "Comply or Die" IS The "Law" - 12/19Ontario Cop Sucker-Punched Good Samaritan Grandmother & Broke Her Leg With Karate Kick - 12/17Psychotic Vegas Cop Filmed Beating Man For Filming In Viral Video Queitly Hired By Another Dept. - 12/17

Rialto, CA Police Made to Wear Cameras, Use of Force Drops by Over Two-ThirdsCop Who Karate Chopped NY Judge In Throat Gets Off Scot-FreeFlorida Cop Smashes Compliant Woman's Face Into Car -- "Maybe Now You Can Understand Simple Instructions"VIDEO: Lapel Cam Reveals A Day In The Life Of A U.S. Police Officer (Tasing, Beating, Breaking & Entering, Stomping On Heads... and Laughing About It)Caught On Tape: Officer Sucker Punches Inmate In Face, Files Report Claiming 'Self Defense'Insult Person On Twitter, Go To JailSWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic -- Raids Innocent Grandma InsteadCop Karate Chops NY Judge In The Throat
(more)

 
Top