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TSA body scanners still raising concerns? Here's why

November 18, 2010|By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
  • TSA personnel demonstrated one type of full-body scanner in San Diego earlier this year.
TSA personnel demonstrated one type of full-body scanner in San Diego earlier… (Eduardo Contreras / Associated…)

Full-body scanners at airport checkpoints are creating almost as much angst as the potential security threats they’re supposed to thwart.

The Transportation Safety Administration insists the machines emit a low level of radiation and are safe, even for pregnant women and children. Here’s a South Florida Sun Sentinel column in which doctors say they're concerned over the machines and certain cancer risks.

How much radiation do these machines emit? The American College of Radiology estimates that 1,000 scans a year equal one chest X-Ray.

Still, two pilot unions have asked the TSA to exempt pilots from the screening devices. The U.S. Airline Pilots Assn. explains its stance here

"As pilots, we are exposed to more radiation as a function of our normal duties than nearly every other category of worker in the United States. Based on currently available medical information, USAPA has determined that frequent exposure to TSA-operated scanner devices may subject pilots to significant health risks."

The Los Angeles Times' Money & Company blog reports on the TSA's latest statement on the machines. And check out a video of the TSA screening process and other stories about this technology in a HealthKey Close-Up.

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