Are Full Body Inspections More Risky Than The Transportation Safety Administration Acknowledges?
I’M FROM THE GOVERNMENT…
The shrewd words of President Ronald Reagan, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.’” come to my mind as soon as I mull over the growing hubbub going on over the Transportation Security Administration’s recent strategy of scanning of the bodies of airport users.
ELEVATED DOSES OF RADIATION FROM TSA BODY SCANNERS A FOUNDATION FOR INTEREST
An assembly of authorities uttered their anxiety to Obama’s science and technology adviser John Holdren. Dr. John W. Sedat, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, UC, San Francisco and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, in a well-thought-out memo was joined by three other similarly credentialed faculty members in expressing their concerns in that letter dated April 6, 2010. In that communication they articulated “concerns about the potential serious health risks” with reference to the “the dose to the skin may be dangerously high” that the TSA is administering at airports across the USA.. In that letter they noted that radiation heightens cancer jeopardy by harming the DNA and diverse components in the cells.
WHAT THE RADIATION INVADES, NOT THE DOSE, IS WHAT MAKES A DISTINCTION
The scanners the Transportation Safety Administration employs focus the main part of the radiation on the surface of the skin and penetrate a few millimeters into the skin. The concern is that there are a quantity of very radiation-sensitive tissues close to the skin such as testes, eyes, and circulating blood.
Considering this, it seems deceptive to assert that the amount being administered is a thousand times less than a chest X-ray, or, that it is a lot less than what air travelers are subjected to while flying in the airplane. It is the volume of the tissue exposed that matters when potential effects of possible radiation damage is evaluated.
ARE YOU, OR SOMEONE YOU HAVE AFFECTION FOR, IN ONE OF THESE CATEGORIES?
Babies, small children, pregnant women, the elderly, individuals having impaired immunity (those with HIV infection, cancer patients, people with immune deficiency disorders, and people with defective DNA repair mechanism are some categories of those that are at a more advanced risks than others. At this time the TSA is not differentiating between these groups and others based on the dangers.
Elderly are also in a particular division when it comes to radiation exposure. Their DNA accumulates a substantial quantity of unrepaired damage, to the point that even small doses of radiation can start the promotion of skin cancers, as well as melanoma which is potentially deadly. Subjecting their eyes to low doses of radiation is also a concern, since exposure to radiation could expand their risk of developing cataracts.
WE CANNOT RELY ON THE PROFESSIONALS
Consider when the American College of Radiology reassured us that the CT scans were harmless and that the radiation amounted to one chest X-ray. At this time we have learned that the dose that is in a CT scan is equal to one thousand chest X-rays. Based that experience, it can pretty much be predicted that when the real effects of these full body scanners on health become recognized, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and the remainder of the “officials” who maintain the scanners are harmless will no longer be around.
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