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View Full Version : e. u. bans backscatter body scanners



maverick
11-16-2011, 01:07 PM
hi folks!

body scanners have made their way into airports across the u.s. a number of these use x-ray, and others use millimeter-wave technology.

the e.u. has banned these machines over concerns that the x-ray radiation exposure and associated cancer risks may not be as insignificant as originally purported.

the e.u. is using millimeter-wave scanners, which have not been identified ask having a link to cancer.

EU Bans Airport X-Ray Machines (http://gizmodo.com/5860169/eu-bans-airport-x+ray-machines)

EU Bans Airport X-Ray Scanners Over Health Concerns | Mother Jones (http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/11/eu-bans-airport-x-ray-scanners-over-health-concerns)

regardless of the type of body scanner used, you can opt for a pat down rather than risk exposure to any sort of radiation. for children, because their body mass is smaller, the risk may be more substantive.

give yourself plenty of time when clearing airport security. i try to get into the line that has the old metal detector and not the new body scanners. if you do end up in a line that has a body scanner, tell them you don't want to be scanned. they will get someone to pat you down. i once had to wait some time at the security line for someone to come and perform the pat down - this is why you want to make sure you have plenty of time.

also be aware that if you've traveled through other places where a pat down is common, like in india, the folks who perform pat downs in the u.s. can be a tad more thorough.

happy travels!

Frank II
11-16-2011, 05:07 PM
Well, Mav, don't expect anything new anytime soon. ONe part of Congress wants to do away with TSA, another wants to expand the power of its leader:

congressional report slams tsa - USATODAY.com (http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/story/2011-11-16/Congressional-report-calls-TSA-bloated/51246416/1?csp=34travel&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UsatodaycomTravel-TopStories+%28Travel+-+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=Google+Reader)

Radiation, groping, molesting children and seniors, being abusive to passengers....all in the name of preventing a terrorist attack which, BTW, TSA hasn't done in its 10 years of existence.

GEOcycle
11-16-2011, 09:42 PM
I honestly felt weird after the two times I've decided to use the scanners ... the majority of the time, luckily, I've been able to use the regular metal detectors. Yeah, it might be completely in my head, but why even that? Hopefully the next time I have to fly in the US, the machines will all be gone ... along with the TSA.

A fun article from The Economist - What's the TSA's current failure rate?
(http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2011/01/tsa_threat_detection?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/bl/tsarate)

I completely agree with the following quote:

"Exactly two things have made airplane travel safer since 9/11: reinforcing the cockpit door, and convincing passengers they need to fight back. Everything else has been a waste of money." A Waste of Money and Time (http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2010/11/22/do-body-scanners-make-us-safer/a-waste-of-money-and-time)

Yagh! Ok, no ranting. Good to see some sensibility from the E.U.

misterN
11-17-2011, 06:22 AM
I must say--I do not travel a lot so I haven't had to use the full body scanners at all. I've never had any problems with the TSA--perhaps Milwaukee isn't too bad. When I was in Phoenix coming back to Milwaukee I did get swabbed for gun powder residue/explosives.

GEOcycle
11-17-2011, 06:59 PM
I must say--I do not travel a lot so I haven't had to use the full body scanners at all. I've never had any problems with the TSA--perhaps Milwaukee isn't too bad. When I was in Phoenix coming back to Milwaukee I did get swabbed for gun powder residue/explosives.

Milwaukee & Madison I haven't had any issues. O'Hare I wish I could avoid at all costs, BWI was uninspiring. Heathrow was simple every time I've been through there, same with Edinburgh. Tokyo, Nagoya, all the airports in Japan so face have been the best - up there with Madison as far as easy.

No liquid limitations for domestic Japan travel either. However, if you have electronics, it will be Xrayed - that's about it. Couldn't be simpler.

nukediver
11-19-2011, 04:29 AM
I've been through these scanners a bunch of times when I've flown out of Newark (EWR), and have had no problems. The flap about the backscatter scanners is another example of society's misplaced utter fear of everything to do with radiation. I've been a Health Physicist (http://www.hps.org/publicinformation/hpcareers.html) my whole career, making it my business to protect people and the environment from harmful amounts of radiation. While I agree with @GEOCycle on what a waste of time and money the TSA has been, I wish people would stop worrying about these devices. My pet peeve is that no one ever mentions the fact (yes, fact) that every time you fly you are exposed to cosmic radiation, at higher levels than these scanners emit. For a bit more perspective, this article from Idaho State (http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/body.htm) , or this Q and A (http://www.radiationanswers.org/radiation-blog/Airport_xray_scanners.html) might be of use.

Stepping off soap box now :-)