Aug 14, 2012 by EDITOR
TSA's Millimeter Wave Scanners Radiate Cells With Untested and Dangerous Technology
Experts convened by health authorities have raised questions about airport X-Ray machines because they violated a longstanding principle in radiation safety -- that humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a medical benefit. Although they've been approved all over the world, there is now overwhelming evidence that the naked body airport scanners are exposing millions to super high frequency microwave radiation.
When you buy your plane ticket, you will be subject to an invasive search of your body. As you attempt to board your flight, you enter the clear, plastic phone booth like tube, the millimeter wave scanner. In the tube you will be exposed to the cell changing effects of 24 - 30 billion cycles per second (GHz) of approximately 1 centimeter long microwaves of electrical and magnetic energy. Each centimeter squared of your body will be exposed to approximately 0.013 milliwatts (a measurement of power) of radiation for the duration of the 1.5 second long scan.
Last year, the United States began marching millions of airline passengers through the X-ray body scanners, parting ways with countries in Europe and elsewhere that have concluded that such widespread use of even low-level radiation posed an unacceptable health risk.
A ProPublica/PBS NewsHour investigation of how this decision was made shows that in post-9/11 America, security issues can trump even long-established medical conventions. The final call to deploy the X-ray machines was made not by the FDA, which regulates drugs and medical devices, but by the TSA, an agency whose primary mission is to prevent terrorist attacks.
Unlike Clark Kent who enters a phone booth to reveal his heroic self and save the planet, you will be searched without your full consent by this machine because of the presumption that you are a threat to American democracy until you prove yourself otherwise. To be proven safe, government employees and government machines want to see you naked. This millimeter wave machine will document and photograph yours, and friends and family’s breasts, vagina, and penis to see if you are carrying any lethal weapons. Until you are indecently searched, you are considered a threat and treated as such.
While the TSA claims not to save the data, the machines have the capability to send and save the images. The data is likely secretly sent to one of the National Security Administration (NSA’s) computer spying centers just in case you are a threat that was not caught? This strip search has been derived from technology developed at U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Lab, with additional research and development support provided by the TSA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Perhaps a more accurate term for the scanners would be Militarywave scanners.
In the quest to conquer the outer world projections of America’s problem, “terrorists,” radiation emitting technology that has never been deployed on the public, nor independently tested on animals, or small groups of humans for safety has been implemented. This is the federal government’s massive power grab, in which they attempt to penetrate deeply into our privacy until a judge, or state makes them stop. In this billion dollar conquest of civil liberties, the government has not spent much money, time, or effort to honestly evaluate whether the technology is safe to use on the public, or even if it is effective in stopping the projected threats. Instead moral values, the constitution, the rights of children have been thrown out the window in some perverted attempt to see a “terrorist” (and you) naked.
Recently, Europe has banned the use of x-ray scanners because they don’t want to cause cancer in a certain portion of the population. In order to thwart the TSA’s perverted foothold into our life, hopefully reports such as this one will shed light on the health dangers of the untested millimeter wave technology.
The problem is that the public has not yet hit the boiling point of anger against the governmental machine who give the public two options. Either consent to scanning or opt out of scans and instead choose to have their breasts, buttocks and genitals touched. The part of the public outraged by the groping and molestation, walks through the millimeter or x-ray scanners, praying not to be selected by a false alarm to then be groped by the neighborhood TSA agent. All the while hoping that what the radiation they are being exposed to will not harm them. For many people the indignity of being groped is worse than the radiation.
Meanwhile the courts have ignored that the fact that the TSA touching our children is "NOT okay", and that Americans have the God given right to privacy and bodily protection. I hope that shedding light on the problems with millimeter wave technology will help the TSA abandon the digital strip search, and hopefully contribute towards the ending of our privacy invasions. Because if everyone had to be groped, there would be outrage. And if everyone had to be scanned naked, there would be outrage. But because there is neither, the TSA has slithered away and avoided responsibility because the public’s anger has been defused to some degree.
At the time of this publication, the TSA does not have any safety data for either of their millimeter wave or x-ray scanners on their website. Furthermore, when the TSA was to locate copies of the scanner safety reports, they claimed that they did not have them and referred me to the FDA, who has not responded.
The scientists that understand millimeter waves are not usually if ever in the field of health care. Furthermore, scientists that understand millimeter waves work in the field and expose themselves daily to millimeter wave radiation. In their mind, this technology is safe, even though it has not been proven safe. There is a belief system in the scientific community that microwave radiation is safe because they do not understand the mechanism in which low doses of microwave radiation can cause harmful effects. Not because harmful effects do not exists, or have not been proven, but because nobody is even looking.
Why You Should Care About Super High Frequency Non-Ionizing (Microwave) Radiation
Everything we do is controlled or enabled by electrical signals in our brain and nervous system. The cells in our bodies are microscopic entities filled with a salt water type solution surrounded by a wall (cell membrane). One of the features of the cells in our bodies is that they control and regulate the exchange of electrically charged ions across the cell. Our cells even create their own very faint electromagnetic fields through the organization of mitochondria and microtubules. This electrical design of the cells was not created by humans, but by the greater power that created the vastly complex and miraculous biological system known as our human body.
A survey of studies regarding the safety of millimeter wave technology conducted by the U.S. Airforce states that in the natural world, super high frequency non-ionizing (microwave) radiation such as that used by the TSA’s millimeter wave scanner is virtually non-existant. In other words for five billion years, life forms have evolved and changed on our planet without any interference from, or protection against super high frequency microwave radiation. As a result, the Airforce study cites evidence that cells might use this super high frequency spectrum to communicate with each other. Experiments have not proven the mechanism in which cells are effected by low doses of radiation. However, just like when one power line goes down in your neighborhood, everyone loses power. In the same way, disrupting the electrical currents of cells near the surface of our skin, could have other far reaching and unintended effects. These effects are untested, and unknown because of the void of research related to millimeter waves.
Only in recent years has the public been exposed to technology that operates in these extremely high frequencies. This technology has been introduced without any human or animal safety tests. Exposing the public to this type of radiation is not normal, nor is it ethical without rigorous, thorough and long term testing. While the government hides behind standards set by the military and computer industry for safety, the reality is that microwave radiation will likely fall into the same category as DDT and cigarettes. Once heralded and promised to be safe, and now known to be a threat to human health and well being.
Let us explore more in depth the existing evidence on low dosage radiation and super high frequencies and how it can affect the human body when we enter the airport in and attempt to freely travel to our destinations.
The best analogy for microwave radiation is microwave ovens because it is something tangible that we can see and most of us understand. Microwave ovens operate at a frequency that is very close to cell phones, 2.45GHz. It makes the molecules of the food vibrate to produce heat.
The TSA’s Scanner Uses Microwave (non-ionizing) Radiation
Before we begin this discussion of radiation, it is important to know that in the past, at least with x-ray radiation, the standard was that nobody should be radiated unless it was medically necessary. I propose this ethical standard should also be true for microwave radiation, that nobody should be radiated, unless there is a medical reason to do so.
Non-ioninizing radiation is a term to describe the type of electrical and magenetic energy that exists on the lower end of the electro-magnetic spectrum. It includes radio waves, microwaves, and cell phones. Typically the term millimeter wave is meant to describe wavelengths between 30GHz and 300 GHz. While there is technology to see people naked that does use frequencies in this spectrum. The current TSA millimeter wave phone booth scanner uses the spectrum of 24GHz to 30GHz. Calling the 24 GHz -- 30GHz radiation emitted by the TSA’s scanners millimeter waves isn’t exactly accurate. Calling them Super High Frequency Microwave scanners would be more accurate. But that might scare the public a bit, so the fact that microwave radiation is being used has been hidden and then downplayed.
Two Types of Non-Ionizing Radiation Effects One Acknowledged, The Other Ignored
Scientists can analyze the effects of microwave radiation using thermal (heat) and non-thermal results. Take the analogy of the microwave oven which emits approximately 24 billion less cycles of radiation per second than the TSA scanners. We can analyze the results of microwaving our food, by how hot it makes our food in a given period of time, and how the food tastes after microwaving it. Analyzing microwave ovens based on simply how they heat the food, would not be accurate or complete because many of us know from experience that microwaves do not just heat food. They heat food and destroy its nutritional value. And studies have shown that the proteins in microwaved food become denatured, producing the rubbery chicken effect.
Common sense and good moral principals would indicate that the TSA’s microwave radiation scanners (millimeter wave) would be evaluated for their ability to heat human tissue, as well as their ability to interfere with human biology through non-heat mechanisms, such as disrupting cellular communication. Unfortunately only the heat standard is used when evaluated the safety of new airport screening technology and the non-heat effects are ignored. In order to understand why non-heat effects are ignored from microwave radiation, we must digress back to 1990 when cell phones and other types of wireless technologies where just beginning to become widespread.
The biological effects of the electromagnetic spectrum can be so dramatic that in 1990, after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studied the effects of EMF (frequencies lower than the TSA scanners emitted by wireless electronics), they recommended that EMF’s join the ranks of “formaldehyde, DDT, dioxins and PCBs,” as a class B carcinogen. But the military and computer lobbyists forced the EPA to change this perspective. In other words, health risks of were ignored and downplayed because powerful lobbies who had an interest in creating, using and deploying technology that operated in different, virtually untested frequencies on the microwave spectrum would have been hampered. The way this works today is that the FDA, and DHS who analyze and rubber stamp the safety of new x-ray and millimeter wave scanners rely on radiation stands set by IEEE.
Maximum Limit Of Microwave Radiation Exposure Set by Industry
The IEEE is the world’s largest organization for the advancement of technology. It is their standards on microwave exposures and reports that government uses. Bear in mind that the microwaving of the public by the TSA is assumed to be safe by blindly relying on these standards without any simple experiments on mice, or humans to prove it likely to be safe, or likely to be dangerous. It is important to realize that the standards set by IEEE are not standards that we would set for ourselves, or that doctors might set for the patients. Rather these are standards that place the least restriction on new technology with respect to human health. The way this works is by focusing only on data about the heat effects of radiation while ignoring the non-heat effects of how this radiation might disrupt cellular communication, alter blood plasma, or even cause cancer like how cell phone towers do. Relying on the IEEE standards for radiation safety is like relying on big oil companies to set gas mileage standards for cars. The standards are set for their narcissistic self interest, and not for the safety of the public. This leads to the irony, that the very organization that promotes itself as protecting the public from terrorists, the TSA, may be terrorizing the cells in our body with disruptive forms of radiation.
The wireless industry is deafly afraid of the public’s awareness of the non-heating effects of microwave radiation. As a result, information about these negative effects has been largely hidden from the public, or not even studied at all. In this least restrictive environment meant to foster industrial growth, a dosage of 10 mW/cm2 of radiation for 6 minutes is considered the maximum allowable safe dose of radiation for workers. In the FCC’s interpretation of the IEEE standards, they lowered the maximum dose the public can face of microwave / millimeter wave radiation to 1 mW/cm2 of radiation for 5 minutes. Perhaps due to Trenabol, Russia is far ahead of us in its concern for public health in relation to radiation. Russia’s maximum allowable doseage radiation leaking from microwave ovens is .01 mw/cm2, for any length of time. In other words, the TSA’s microwave radiation scanner would not be allowed to be used in Russia because it exceeds the maximum radiation dosage.
A growing body of research has documented that certain radio frequency fields interfere with cellular function through mechanisms that do not involved heating, or that do not involve significant heating. These interference fields occur at dosages of power levels hundreds or thousands of times below the suggested safety dose of radiation. Therefore extreme caution is warranted with these new technologies. Sadly, no caution at all has been taken with them, legally, morally, or health wise.
How Uncle Sam Rubber Stamps Scanner Safety, Even Without Scanner Safety Data
The TSA’s millimeter wave scanners that shoot high frequency radiation at you, operate at an estimated power level of 0.013 mW/cm2 - 0.02 mW/cm2 , and the time you are exposed is relatively brief 1.5 seconds. This power dosage is well bellow the maximum allowed dosage or radiation of 1 mW/cm2 for five minutes. As a result, the TSA’s military radiation scanners (millimeter wave) are considered safe. But, this safety level is based only on the heating effects of the scanner’s radiation, not on the non-heating biological effects. It is vital that you understand that the way heating experiments work is that they zap a subject matter with radiation, and then after the radiation is gone, look at the object and examine it for damage. Because there is no immediate damage visible after many short burst low power radiation experiments, these lower power levels are considered safe because no heat damage can be found. An analogy? Saying nothing happens when radiating something with low power by looking at the object after the radiation blast, and not during the radiation blast, would be like saying that if you go out on a sunny day, and do not get a noticeable sun-tan, then the sun does nothing at all to our body because it did not have a permanent and documentable effect when you are out in the sun in “low doses.”
Evidence of Microwave and Millimeter Wave Radiation Harm
The military’s Active Denial weapon uses millimeter wave technology to create an intense burning sensation on the skin’s surface using a 95 GHz (3.2mm wavelength) beam. But the TSA tells us not to worry about their millimeter waves because, “Millimeter wave technology bounces harmless electromagnetic waves off the body to create the same generic image for all passengers.” Yet this is completely inaccurate because the nature of millimeter waves is that our bodies and water are excellent absorbers of these waves. Millimeter waves do penetrate and absorb into our skin. At the microwave technology center in Malaysia, health subjects were exposed to microwave radiation between 20 -- 38 GHz, the range in which the TSA scanners operate. They found that millimeter waves penetrated the subjects skin at depths of between 1.05 mm at 20 GHz to 0.78 mm at 38 GHz. This is enough to penetrate below the epidermal layer of the skin. Think of how this type of radiation might effect your eyes as you go through the scanner? For example, a 1998 study showed a 3 second exposure to 2 mW/cm2 of 94GHz millimeter waves would cause cataracts in rhesus monkeys. Please note that I cannot specifically use experiments that point towards the exact range of frequencies that the military TSA wave scanners use because the evidence is not available.
In a review of over 300 experiments on millimeter waves done by the previously mentioned US Airforce research article. The authors wrote that, "Indeed, MMW have been reported to produce a variety of bioeffects, many of which are quite unexpected from radiation penetrated less than 1 mm into biological tissues.” Of particular concern in this report is the citing of studies that show there is an irreversible water memory effect by millimeter waves operating in the 36GHz frequency. And that the millimeter wave effects on blood plasma very greatly from one person to the next. That fact that different people react differently to radiation could explain a medical condition of electro magnetic field sensitivity found in a percentage of the population.
People with radiation sensitivity may experience headaches, migraines, irritability, as well as behavior disorders from being exposed to microwave radiation. Long term exposure could lead to nerve and/or muscle pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and contribute to autism, leukemia, cancer and heart disease. Short term effects of people with whom I have communicated with from exposure to the TSA’s radiation scanners include sluggishness, malaise, or feeling unwell, poor digestion, headaches, confusion, or a burning feeling in the skin or body.
You may notice these effects immediately, or within 1-2 minutes of your scan. But the TSA does not monitor for health effects after radiation scans because they default to the IEEE radiation standards created by the technology industry that seeks to avoid any correlation between regular use of microwave emitting technology and health effects. Even though this technology has not been thoroughly tested on humans, the TSA has absolved itself of monitoring for any health effects of the scan because they have been duped by the FDA, FCC and DHS into believing that the low dose radiation is harmless. One could conduct a simple experiment by having a few hundred people walk through a millimeter wave scanner, and then observe their vital signs, as well as ask interview questions. Some people would go through a real machine, other’s through a fake placebo machine. Even though there are no human tests or studies to prove scanner safety, it has been ignorantly and arrogantly concluded to be safe. If low dosages of radiation are potentially dangerous, then there should be evidence that points to this danger. There is, and the TSA, FDA, FCC, and DHS are ignoring it because they do not care about your health.
Low Power Non-Ionizing Radiation Can Be Dangerous
One hundred meters (a football field length) away from cell phone towers, the power density of the radiation is 0.001 mW/cm2. This is much less power than is projected by the TSA’s microwave scanners. “A German study found a high rate of cancer developing on average eight years earlier than national averages if you live within 1,200 feet of a cell tower.” Spanish researchers found significant illness increases at a radiation exposure of only .00011 mW/cm2 to .00019 mW/cm2 from cell phone towers which is thousands of times below the FCC standard for microwave radiation safety.
In a 2010 report by the California Institute of technology, titled “Impact of low intensity millimetre waves on cell functions,” scientists tested the effects of millimeter wave radiation that is over 1000 times below the government’s safe dose on mice cells. They tested doses of radiation around 0.0003 mW/cm2. Far less power than the TSA’s millimeter wave scanner uses. These tests were done at 60GHZ and in short radiation doses there were merely 5 seconds long. This is the first, and perhaps only experiment where real time changes from millimeter wave radiation was tested. The study showed that rat neurons changed their firing rate, and the cell membranes changed their level of permeability. The recent study concluded that “We have only begun to evaluate the real-time effects of millimetre waves on cellular functions. Further work is certainly needed, and we hope that the results presented in this Letter will catalyse governmental bodies and private foundations overseeing the safety and applications of millimetre-wave technologies.”
As of yet, real time human effects of low power radiation has neither been tested, nor observed. Yet the TSA negligently, and fraudulently insists the scanner is safe not because it has been tested to be safe, but because science does not understand what mechanism is involved, or what the biological effects would even be by these low doses of high frequency radiation were even tested.
Police radars do operate in a general realm of the power level and wavelength that the TSA’s millimeter scanners operate at. Police speed gun radars use either 24.15 GHz or 35GHz radiation waves to try to catch speeding motorists. The power density of these devices range from 0.12 mW/cm2 to 2.66 mW/cm2 depending on the type of unit, and the distance from the unit. There have been many reports of police officers who develop cancer and blame their radar guns for the problem. As a result, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health studied this phenomena. Although they could not find a definite connection between the radar guns and cancer in police officers, they nevertheless made immediate recommendations for police officers to never point a radar gun at themselves. “When using two-piece radar units, the antenna should be mounted so that the radar beam is not directed toward the vehicle occupants.” And “Always point the device away from the police officer's body, or his/her partner's body, while it is turned on.”
Why Aren’t More Experts Speaking Out About Millimeter Wave Scanners?
With the TSA’s x-ray backscatter systems, there were many concerned professors, researchers and scientists who have been working in the field of x-ray technology. With their vast background in x-rays, they knew that the TSA’s rapid deployment of untested scanning technology was both unethical and unsafe. UCSF scientists wrote about the x-ray device that, “Our overriding concern is the extent to which the safety of this scanning device has been adequately demonstrated. This can only be determined by a meeting of an impartial panel of experts that would include medical physicists and radiation biologists at which all of the available relevant data is reviewed.” Likewise, millimeter wave scanners do not have independent safety verification.
X-ray technology has many experts in the field, including people who are doctors and work with patients and perhaps care about humans. The millimeter wave field, is full of radio frequency engineers who do not understand, and have little or no training to understand or evaluate how these waves would effect biological systems. Furthermore, since they work in a job in which they are usually exposed to massive amounts of microwave frequencies, they must convince themselves mentally that it is safe to use, or even therapeutic.
There are no experiments, I could find, or that the FDA, DHS, or TSA could site with lab mice to see how the low doses of radiation will affect live biological systems like animals and people. We do know that low doses of different types of radiation have been connected with diseases and measurable cellular changes. Low frequent doses may also effect TSA operators who stand in close proximity to the scanners. The lack of experts complaining about millimeter wave technology does not make the technology safe, but rather is a cause for even greater alarm and caution.
If EMF’s are Dangerous, Microwave Radiation (RF) may also be dangerous.
EMF’s are electro magnetic frequencies that operate at much lower frequency levels that the very high frequency microwave scanners deployed by the TSA. We know now that EMF’s cause can interference with DNA synthesis and RNA transcription; interact with the response of normal cells to various agents and biochemical such as hormones, neurotransmitters, and growth factors; and interact with cancer cells. EMF’s could effect your immune system, your digestive system, and even your brain function. If research on EMF’s is a predictor of what we will find with additional research in the high frequency radiation field, over time, we will find these same results from microwave radiation such as is used by the TSA’s scanners.
An Overview of the Evidence
Not all research proves that millimeter waves are dangerous. Some experiments have shown no observable effects in biological systems. But these experiments did not observe cellular effects real time. This does not prove millimeter wave or super high frequency microwave technology is safe. It more likely points to the inability of the experiment to examine the hard to observe effects of cellular communication and maintenance that could be damaged by microwave radiation.
Some studies have even used millimeter wave frequencies to help reduce pain the body. Other studies claim that the effects of microwave radiation is temporary, and not permanent. And the studies I have cited show a cause for alarm about the effects of low dosages of radiation. Even though the microwave radiation used by the TSA scanners is different that radiation produced by cell phones and microwave ovens, some readers might reflect on their experience with cell phones and microwave ovens and see that even though they know they are exposing themselves to radiation using these products, that they do not experience negative health effects from them. This doesn’t mean that there are no negative health effects, but simply that none were observed. Keep in mind that the millimeter wave scanners of the TSA operate at more than 20 billion times more oscillations per second, with waves that are of a much smaller size. So the cellular effects will be different than cell phones. And that some people in the population are far less sensitive to the effect or radiation than others.
What Can We Do About Stopping the TSA’s Scanners?
The most effective tool you have to stop the use of the TSA’s scanners is to not use them. If enough people refused to use the TSA’s scanners, the TSA would have to abandon the program. Each traveler, thus far, has the right and ability to opt-out of the x-ray and “millimeter wave” scanners. Simply say to the TSA officer that you opt-out. But opting out comes with a price. You will have your breasts, buttocks and potentially your genitals touched by a government TSA employee as you will be patted down as if you are a terrorist until you can demonstrate that you do not have any lethal weapons or mal intentions on your body.
If you feel sick after walking through a scanner. Take note of the effects. Report the illness to your local health department, as well as your state and federal representative and demand that the use of scanners be halted. Demand an independent health investigation of the scanner, and demand that the TSA start tracking health damages from the scanner. In addition, use social media tools to share your health reports from the scanner. Post on facebook, on your blog, on twitter and let the world know how you are being negatively affected by the TSA’s disreputable actions.
The next step will be stopping the TSA’s assaults on our liberties. The best way to do this would by communicating with your county, state and federal representative and urging them to pass legislation prohibiting the use of the TSA’s scanners and prohibiting indecent touching in the full body pat down. You can also urge your local district attorney and local sheriff to hold the TSA accountable for violating your state’s laws about touching other people, about the deprivation of liberty and rights protected by your state’s constitution, violating state privacy and decency laws, and for violating radiation and medical scanning technology laws. The power is in your hands to make a difference.
The Fundamental Question of Liberty
This article is not for those who feel fine microwaving themselves with cell phones or other new technologies. This is for those who don’t want to have to choose between dousing themselves with untested microwave radiation, and having their privates touched by a stranger when they want to fly from state to state on an airplane.
Do we live in a world where our bodies and our individual rights are uncared for an unacknowledged by the government who feels justified in violating us in a variety of ways on the alter of protection from terrorism? I don’t think so.
We live in a world where our bodies deserve to be cherished an honored. We live in a world where we deserve to be innocent of being a terrorist until proven guilty. We live in a world where the government is made, of, for, and by the people to protect our rights and our liberties. We live in a world were we should be treated as worthy individuals whose bodies deserve to be free from injurious forces such as untested microwave radiation, or from being touched indecently. I demand change. Join me.
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PhD Thesis, 2009, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic < http://www.ufe.cz/~cifra/DP.pdf>
Bioelectromagnetics 19:393--413 (1998) Current State and Implications
of Research on Biological Effects of Millimeter Waves:
This data is not 100% confirmed, but reported from various websites.
Power Level Estimated by Radio Engineers. The government withheld exact data of power level
Interview with Radiation Scientist
Dielectric Properties of Human Skin In Vivo in the Frequency Range 20 -- 38 GHz for 42
Healthy Volunteers Najihah M. Tamyis
Bioelectromagnetics 19:393--413 (1998) Current State and Implications
of Research on Biological Effects of Millimeter Waves:
The Microwave Syndrome”a preliminary study in Spain,” Navarro E. et al, Biology
and Medicine, 22 (2 &3) 161-169, 2003; also “ The Microwave Syndrome”Further
Aspects of a Spanish Study,” Oberfeld G et al 2004, International Conference
Proceedings, Kos, Greece 2004
The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2010
3 July 2010 doi: 10.1049/el.2010.8442
Biological Effects of Power Frequency Electric and Magnetic Fields May 1989