December 1, 2011
On November 14, 2011 the European Commission banned X-ray body scanners that use “backscatter” technology from airports.
The scanners, which are still in use in the United States, project X-ray beams onto your body using ionizing radiation to create a detailed reflection of your body that is displayed on a monitor viewed by a remotely located officer.
Ionizing radiation causes DNA damage that can lead to cancer, and its effects are cumulative.
This means that every time you pass through an X-ray scanner, your risk of developing cancer, and other unintended adverse effects, increases.
Ever since the machines were introduced, concerns over both privacy and public health have been voiced, which is why the European Commission’s decision to take a proactive stance by using alternative scanners to protect their citizens’ health is likely to bring the issue front and center once again.