Airport X-ray body scanners banned in Europe over health concerns

By on November 16, 2011, 4:30 PM

Airport body scanners that use X-ray technology have been banned in the European Union. In a press release regarding the machines, officials have deemed X-ray technology off limits in order to not risk jeopardizing citizens’ health and safety.

X-rays emit a tiny amount of radiation and have long since been linked to causing cancer in rare instances by physically damaging DNA. In a letter to ProPublica from the FDA, the agency claims that the risk of fatal cancer from scanners is 1 in 400 million. A piece by ProPublica earlier this month indicated that anywhere from six to 100 US airline passengers could develop cancer each year from using the machines.

The TSA has responded to the EU’s decision to discontinue use of X-ray scanners, revealing that more than 300 dangerous or illegal items have been found on passengers using these scanners.

That debate aside, the EU has banned the machines in favor of other scanner types that do not use X-ray technology. The replacements will use millimeter wave tech which uses low-frequency radio waves thought to be less dangerous. As of now, airports in the US will continue to use both types of scanners. Around 250 X-ray machines are currently deployed in the US, alongside 264 millimeter wave body scanners.

Body scanners in general have been criticized since their deployment based on privacy concerns. The scanners can essentially see under clothing, revealing hidden objects like explosives that a metal detector wouldn’t pick up as well as an intimate look at one’s body. Of course, one can opt out of a body scan and receive a pat down by a TSA official.




User Comments: 12

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Guest said:

We all know that corrupt USA politicians do not care about the citizens so no surprise there.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

This announced the same day that the TSA announced they're putting off safety tests for the scanners.

treetops treetops said:

I wonder what they would make a of a bag of ham hidden in my armpit.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"more than 300 dangerous or illegal items have been found on passengers as a direct result of using X-ray body scanners."

Translation: More than 300 nail clippers, cigarette lighters, and containers containing more than 3 oz of liquid have been found on passengers as a direct result of using X-ray body scanners.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

"more than 300 dangerous or illegal items have been found on passengers as a direct result of using X-ray body scanners."

Translation: More that 300 nail clippers, cigarette lighters, and containers containing more than 3 oz of liquid have been found on passengers as a direct result of using X-ray body scanners.

+infinity

Mindwraith said:

why are people afraid of having their body scanned under their clothes? are they afraid some airport security guy is jacking off to a vague radio image of your body?

Guest said:

Passengers on long haul flights get the same dose of radiation, if people are worried about that then just stop flying all together.

Night Hacker Night Hacker said:

Mindwraith, I'm not afraid of anything, but the decision whether or not I wish to show ANYONE my nakkid body is mine alone, and nobody else's. It's called basic rights and freedoms, and I for one am not willing to give up those rights for any reason. PERIOD! I doubt I will ever visit an airport again so long as this bullshit exists there. If anyone tries scanning me or feeling me up, they better be prepared to get a beating from me and thrown across the room.

Guest said:

"Translation: More that 300 nail clippers, cigarette lighters, and containers containing more than 3 oz of liquid have been found on passengers as a direct result of using X-ray body scanners."

Wendig0, i love you! LOL

You nailed that dead center. They still owe me my shampoo that cost me about $35 :/

caravel said:

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~ Benjamin Franklin

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Night Hacker said:

I doubt I will ever visit an airport again so long as this bullshit exists there.

TSA is rolling out on the streets of Tennessee and at big events like NFL football games. Soon you won't be able to go to wal-mart to get groceries without body scanning.

Guest said:

The link that the claim "over 300 dangerous or illegal items" took us to was simply to another article that made this BS claim and said absolutely nothing about it. We're not stupid. We know it is a lie.

The TSA is NOT there to increase your safety but to only condition Americans t0o submit to tyranny and abuse by authorities. It is a matter of control. Even in their heyday the Nazis never tried anything like this.

Many of us will no longer fly because we refuse to expose ourselves to the US Gestapo and I have many European friends who will no longer travel to the US because of the police state that it has become.

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