People and experts have been sounding the drumbeat against the wide-scale use of this x-ray & gamma technology. Cnet is now another major publication to bring these x-ray scanner cancer risks to light. The other that I personally read what the study out of MIT about the effects these devices on your RNA and possible DNA, causing mutations. In my opinion, if you are deploying something as a “public safety” device, you can’t harm the people you are trying to protect. It is unacceptable if even one person gets cancer from this device per year. Statistically I believe that would be more than what terrorism killed in this country over a decade since 9/11.
C|Net – Even though a public outcry has prompted Homeland Security to move away from adding X-ray machines to airports–it purchased 300 body scanners last year that used alternative technology instead–it appears to be embracing them at U.S.-Mexico land border crossings as an efficient way to detect drugs, currency, and explosives.
A 63-page set of specifications (PDF), heavily redacted, obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center through the Freedom of Information Act, says the scanners must “be based on X-Ray or gamma technology,” which use potentially dangerous ionizing radiation at high energies, and “shall be capable of scanning cars, SUVs, motorcycles and busses.”
“Society will pay a huge price in cancer because of this,” John Sedat, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California at San Francisco, told CNET. Sedat has raised concerns about the health risks of X-ray scanners, and the European Commission in November prohibited their use in European airports.
Analysis: The TSA and federal government will continue to push these out, citing the need to protect our borders from terrorism. Critics and more science will come out showing that these machines are much more dangerous than stated and the public will continue to lose confidence in this type of security. There will be a showdown in the coming months or years on who is right and what matters most.