X-ray Scanners Deliver “20 Times the Average Dose Quoted by TSA”, Scientist Says

Vagabondish is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Read our disclosure.

BoingBoing points us to a rather alarming statistic regarding the new full-body X-ray scanners now favored by the TSA. In an online essay titled, Holt Continues to Question Science, Effectiveness of TSA Full Body Scanners, scientist and U.S. House Representative, Rush Holt, warns:

In March, the Congressional Biomedical Caucus (of which I am a co-chair) hosted a presentation on this technology by TSA, as well as a briefing by Dr. David Brenner of Columbia University on the potential health effects of “back scatter” x-ray devices. As Dr. Brenner noted in his presentation and in subsequent media interviews, the devices currently in use and proposed for wider deployment this year currently deliver to the scalp “20 times the average dose that is typically quoted by TSA and throughout the industry.”

Dr. Brenner has pointed out that the majority of the radiation from X-ray backscatter machines strikes the top of the head, which is where 85 percent of the 800,000 cases of basal cell carcinoma diagnosed in the United States each year develop. According to Dr. Brenner, excessive x-ray exposure can act as a cancer rate multiplier, which is why our government should investigate thoroughly the potential health risks associated with this technology.

So what if an arm grows out of my head six months after I return home? At least I’ll sleep safely knowing that no one – but no one – boarded my flight with a pair of nail clippers.

Founding Editor

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's Make Sure You're Human ... * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Subscribe to Our 'Under the Radar' Newsletter
If you love travel, you're gonna love this!