Sunday, March 13, 2011

Those TSA X-Ray Scanners: Math Mistakes Or More Radiation?

The TSA is in full defensive P.R. mode because maintenance records of its full-body X-ray scanners, conducted by employees of the very company that manufactures them, indicated that some of the machines were releasing radiation levels ten times higher than expected.

You can read more here in USA Today.

From the article:

The TSA is responsible for the safety of its own X-ray devices. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said it does not routinely inspect airport X-ray machines because they are not considered medical devices. The TSA's airport scanners are exempt from state radiation inspections because they belong to a federal agency.

The official TSA bloggers claim here that everything will be just fine once those engineers, the ones responsible for the testing of the machines, are "retrained." Besides, there's radiation everywhere and ten times as much of it would still be perfectly safe.

So the engineers who conducted the tests allegedly made basic math mistakes and will be retrained. Reassured yet?

As David Rowell, The Travel Insider, writes here, "The most puzzling part of this is why a society with a massive aversion upon discovering even the slightest suggestion of lead, mercury and asbestos being present somewhere where people have lived safely healthily and happily for decades; will then voluntarily allow itself to be irradiated in an uncontrolled environment, particularly when the dose of radiation serves no good purpose in terms of detecting anything concealed on your person."

Reassured yet? We're not and we'll continue to "opt out."

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Hi Kathy and Brian,

I can see that you're as upset by these "security" procedures as we all are over at Boycott Flying ...

We would be happy to have you join us. If we can't stop these procedures soon, TSA/DHS has plans to deploy them at cruise lines, bus stations, rail stations, subway stations, sporting events, shopping malls and even our children's schools. We soon won't be able to go anywhere without having an x-ray first.