The University of California, and the Airline Pilot’s Association are cautioning the public about TSA’s new naked strip search x-ray scanners now being deployed at all of America’s airports. The new scanners use x-rays to reveal the person going through the scanner. This is a full image scan of an individual, and allows for a fairly graphic representation of your body. The University of California issued a letter to the government stating that they have discovered that no real safety data exists for using such scanners on the public. Real independent safety data does not exist. There has not been sufficient review of the intermediate and long-term effects of radiation exposure associated with airport scanners. There is good reason to believe that these scanners will increase the risk of cancer to children and other vulnerable populations. Air travelers over 65 years old are especially susceptible to the “mutagenic effects of the X-rays,” according to UC biochemistry professor John Sedat, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, as are HIV and cancer patients, children and adolescents, pregnant women, and men (because the X-rays can penetrate skin and put the testicles “at risk for sperm mutagenesis”}. Eyes could also be at risk because X-rays can penetrate the cornea. Even the Airline Pilot’s Association is telling its pilot’s not to go through the scanners. Individuals who fly often should avoid them as well. The problem is that the TSA will get physically invasive with future searches if you choose to decline the scan. I did, and will continue to do so. The experience is not pleasant. The reality is that this new procedure is an affront to our privacy and liberties. This is overkill, and an example of Orwellian government taking hold. What is not to keep the government from keeping the scanned information on file without our permission? Metal detectors are adequate, as are the new security doors on cockpits. We have enough security at the airport as is. The new scanners should be banned.
On this Thanksgiving eve there is a call for a national boycott by passengers not to use the scanners, it’s being called “National Opt Out of the Airport Scanners Day,”. The effort is to jam security lines on that day, to force the government to reconsider using these scanners and the intrusive pat downs.
Photo: TSA Scanned Image Photo Credit: John Wild