Privacy is a good reason to question the use of airport scanners; cancer risk is a bogus one.
The Associated Press reports:
The European Union adopted new guidelines Monday on using body scanners at airports, hoping to address the privacy concerns that have delayed their implementation across the continent.
Siim Kallas, the EU commissioner responsible for transport, said under the rules the technology will only be used with strict safeguards to protect health and fundamental rights.
But the scanners emit very low levels of radiation that pose low cancer risk even when relying on the cancer-risk exaggerating linear no-threshold model.
As Reuters reported earlier this year:
… a person would have to get more than 50 airport scans to get as much radiation exposure as one gets from a dental X-ray.
“When used properly, the doses from these machines are extremely low,” Smith-Bindman said in a telephone interview.
Some travelers and airline crews have expressed concerns about being repeatedly exposed to radiation from the body scanners, which the Transportation Security Administration has deployed to detect banned items on passengers.
Only one type of full-body airport scanner — the backscatter X-ray machine — expose individuals to ionizing radiation such as that used in common medical X-rays.
To estimate the risk from these machines, the team divided travelers into three groups: all flyers, frequent fliers and 5-year-old girls who are frequent fliers, because children are more sensitive to the effects of radiation.
They said of the total 750 million flights taken per year by 100 million passengers, there would be an additional six cancers over the course of their lifetimes. That is in addition to the 40 million cancers that would normally develop among people in a group this size.
For frequent fliers, people who fly 60 hours a week, there might be four extra cancers on top of the 600 extra cancers just from flying — which exposes people to more solar radiation — and 400,000 cancers that normally would occur over their lifetime.
And for every 2 million 5-year-old girls who travel one round-trip a week, going through the scanners would cause one additional cancer out of the 250,000 breast cancers that are set to occur in this group over their lifetimes.
Read “EU adopts guidelines on airport body scanners”.
Read “Radiation from airport scanners very low: study”.
Read “Shocker: Nobel prize winner lied about radiation danger; Data suppression abetted rise of linear no-threshold model.”