Health Concerns

 

Though our primary concerns with the new and egregious methods employed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) relate to privacy, Constitutional protections, and personal dignity, the routine use of backscatter and millimeter x-ray machines as a daily security measure also raises serious questions about the public health.

X-ray technicians are trained to hide behind lead buffers when using radiation technology for medical purposes, yet American citizens are being asked to pass through x-ray machines regularly at airports as if there is no adverse health effects.

StopAustinScanners.org provides a thorough analysis of the health concerns related to the “virtual strip search” technology used by the TSA.

Here is their summary:

from StopAustinScanners.org:

  • TSA’s backscatter imaging systems have been introduced without clinical safety trials
  • Their technical specifications remain “classified”
  • This violates historic EPA and OSHA policies
  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has expressed skepticism they work as advertised.
  • The U.S. State Department has admitted in Congressional Testimony that it facilitated Abdulmutallab’s (the underwear bomber) entry into the country, by-passing security overseas, despite having prior knowledge of the “threat.”
  • Michael Chertoff (former Secretary of Homeland Security) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), (Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management), have financially profited from the sale of these dangerous devices.
  • The radiation hazards are REAL and pose a threat to public health
  • Notable authorities legitimately dispute DHS “safety claims.”
  • Isaac Yeffet, former head of security for El Al Airlines, opposes the body scanners, emphasizing their limited value to airline security.
  • Airline pilots and TSA employees oppose these scanners.