Top Health Tools
Top Health Tools

Top Reports
Top Reports
Top Articles
Top Articles

Top Reviews
Top Reviews
Full Body Scanners Are A
Threat To Privacy And Health

Full body scanners being introduced at airports to tighten security pose a serious health risk to passengers and raise concerns about privacy.

The scanners are being introduced at Heathrow and Manchester airports from this month, and will be rolled out across the country following the botched bombing of a US airliner on Christmas Day.

Concerns have been raised that they could expose individuals to dangerous levels of radiation and infringe privacy because of the detailed images produced, leading to the coining of the term "virtual strip search".

An influential international radiation safety organization warned that the naked body scanners will increase the risk of cancer and birth defects and should not be used on pregnant women or children.

Current calculations show that back scatter systems are safe even for infants and children, pregnant women, and people with genetic sensitivity to radiation. But quality checks of scanners and routine maintenance are essential, Professor Mahesh says. Operators also need radiation safety training to avoid any inadvertent exposure.

Despite governments claiming that backscatter x-ray systems produce radiation too low to pose a threat, the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety concluded in their report that governments must justify the use of the scanners and that a more accurate assessment of the health risks is needed.

Pregnant women and children should not be subject to scanning, according to the report, adding that governments should consider “other techniques to achieve the same end without the use of ionizing radiation.”

Privacy issues were highlighted by reports that the naked image of the Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan was printed and circulated by scanner operators at Heathrow airport.

February 25, 2010

STAY CONNECTEDNewsletter | RSS | Twitter | YouTube |
This site is owned and operated by 1999-2018. All Rights Reserved. All content on this site may be copied, without permission, whether reproduced digitally or in print, provided copyright, reference and source information are intact and use is strictly for not-for-profit purposes. Please review our copyright policy for full details.
volunteerDonateWrite For Us
Stay Connected With Our Newsletter