U.S. Researchers Find Radiation from Airport Scanners is Very Low

As previously reported on our blog, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it will start publishing radiating results from airport passenger and luggage screening equipment. On Monday, March 28, U.S. researchers announced that airport scanners are an “extremely low” source of radiation exposure. It poses virtually no health risk, not even to frequent air travelers, U.S. researchers said.

According to Reuters, 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.

For the full article, please click here.

(c) Picture: TSA – http://www.tsa.gov/

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Reinhard von Hennigs