Bill Would Require Independent Study of X-Ray Body Scanners

January 31st, 2012

The TSA gets to choose the laboratory?

Via: Pro Publica:

Sen. Susan Collins, the top Republican on the homeland security committee, plans to introduce a bill in the coming days that would require a new health study of the X-ray body scanners used to screen airline passengers nationwide.

Shortly after our report, the European Union separately announced that it would prohibit X-ray body scanners at its airports for the time being “in order not to risk jeopardizing citizens’ health and safety.”

The new bill drafted by Collins would require the TSA to choose an independent laboratory to measure the radiation emitted by a scanner currently in use at an airport checkpoint. The peer-reviewed study, to be submitted to Congress, would also evaluate the safety mechanisms on the machine and determine whether there are any biological signs of cellular damage caused by the scans.

In addition, the bill would require the TSA to place prominent signs at the start of checkpoint lines informing travelers that they can request a physical pat-down instead of going through the scanner. Right now, the TSA has signs in front of the machines noting that passengers can opt out. But the signs mostly highlight the images created rather than possible health risks.

2 Responses to “Bill Would Require Independent Study of X-Ray Body Scanners”

  1. Eileen Says:

    Scroll down through the comments on the article to jebtexas. Said it all for me. Its just like asbestos ( my sister died from cancer from asbestos). Prevents fires!
    But in this case, these machines are supposed to prevent terrorists from blowing up an airplane. For christsakes. At what price to human health?
    So glad I opted out of the milli-whatever machine at the Tampa airport.
    U can feel me up all you want.
    Pitiful that the TSA folk are being paid and fried up at the same time all for “national security.”

  2. Eileen Says:

    It doesn’t matter if the bill says that TSA “gets” to select whoever will study the machines. Government procurement is a byzantian enterprise whereby I can bet my two front teeth that while TSA procurement officials might select who conducts the study, it won’t be until after the TSA provides the specifications, etc of the study. And as I am very attached to my two front teeth, these TSA folks are going to have their hands full documenting their procurement of whoever does this study. That is if the bill passes, that is if the US doesn’t go ass up into bankruptcy between now and then. I think the odds are even in either case.
    Eventually,(and in my dreams) I think the “plug” will be pulled on these machines because of either the potential health liability and/or airports and the U.S. won’t be able to afford to pay for them.

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