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“Less Invasive” TSA Body Scanners Do Nothing To Address Radiation Risk
Posted By paul On July 21, 2011 @ 11:34 am In Featured Stories,Tile | Comments Disabled
Federal agency refuses to switch to devices already in use that do not emit radiation
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, July 21, 2011
The TSA has saturated mainstream media with its unveiling of new “less invasive” security scanners that do not show images of a person’s naked body, but the new devices do nothing to address concerns voiced by numerous health authorities – the fact that the machines rely on firing cancer-causing radiation to produce the image in the first place.
“The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole announced today that the agency will install new software on some body-scanning machines to make images less revealing and air passengers feel less stripped down,” reports Time.
“The new technology, called Automated Target Recognition, will be installed on millimeter wave machines, which make up about half of the 488 full-body scanners in use at U.S. airports. Images will no longer be passenger-specific, but instead will “auto-detect items that could pose a potential threat using a generic outline of a person for all passengers,” according to the TSA statement.”
The new technology is expected to be installed in all US airports that use the millimeter wave scanners by the end of the year. It will then be added to the other type of device used which relies on backscatter x-ray technology to produce the image.
However, both the millimeter wave and backscatter x-ray devices will continue to emit radiation that respected health authorities have warned will cause cancer. Despite claims to the contrary, the millimeter wave machines “tear apart DNA” to produce their image, while the backscatter devices fire ionizing radiation into the body.
Numerous highly respected universities and health bodies, including Johns Hopkins, Columbia University, the University of California, and the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety, have all warned that the health threat posed by the scanners has not been properly studied and could lead to increased cancer rates.
Despite the TSA lying in claiming that Johns Hopkins had verified the safety of the scanners, Dr Michael Love, who runs an X-ray lab at the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at the Johns Hopkins school of medicine, has publicly warned that “statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays”.
A study conducted last year by Dr David Brenner, head of Columbia University’s center for radiological research, also found that the body scanners are likely to lead to an increase in a common type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma, which affects the head and neck.
As we reported last month, leaked documents published by the Electronic Privacy Information Center revealed how TSA workers became concerned over a “cancer cluster” amongst screening agents at Boston Logan International Airport, and how the federal agency tried to cover-up the complaints.
Despite these massive health concerns, the TSA has ignored calls for it to use readily available scanners that do not emit any form of radiation whatsoever, and are already successfully being used for security applications by corporations such as Sony.
So why is the TSA reticent to switch to using devices that do not emit harmful radiation? Because it would require more than a “software upgrade” to do so, the whole machine would have to be replaced, and thousands of Americans getting cancer just isn’t a good enough reason for the federal agency to spend a few million dollars making the change.
Another reason is the fact that the radiation-free scanners being used by Sony are not owned by companies like Rapiscan who are clients of the massive post-9/11 private shadow Homeland Security industry. People like former DHS director Michael Chertoff, who aggressively pushed body scanners in the days after the highly suspicious Christmas Day bomber incident, do not make money out out radiation-free scanners, which is probably a very good reason why you don’t see the TSA in any rush to use them in airports.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.
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