Cancer in TSA Employees Rises as the TSA Ignores the Problem
As if the Fourth Amendment and groping/naked body scans weren't big enough problems for the new TSA regulatory searches, new information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows a rise in cancer among TSA employees operating the body scanner machines and the TSA's attempt to cover up the scary reality of how unsafe these machines are. Some leading scientists are saying there has not been enough testing and data gathered to prove that the machines are safe. Mark Rotenberg from Electronic Privacy Information Center says the Department of Homeland Security has not been forthcoming about the true risks of radiation and has overstated the support of new the new program by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In fact, information obtained by the FOIA shows that the head of the head of the Department of Homeland Security publicly mischaracterized saying that it had it confirmed the safety of the body scanners. The NIST actually warned TSA employees to avoid standing next to the scanners in order to keep exposure to harmful radiation “as low as reasonably achievable.”
A study at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine declared that the radiation zones around body scanners can exceed the “general public dose limit. The TSA falsely claimed that the study done at Johns Hopkins substantiated the safety of the body scanners. Dr. Michael Love at Johns Hopkins even said "They say the risk is minimal, but statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays."
New evidence questioning the legitimate safety of these body scanners emerged as union representative for TSA employees reported a cancer cluster among employees that operated body scanner machines. They then asked for dosimeters to measure the potential harm from radiation, but the TSA denied this request, while TSA worker are suffering from cancer, strokes and heart disease.
Several professors from USC recently wrote a letter to Obama's Science Advisor warning of the fact that "There is still no rigorous, hard, data for the safety of x-ray airport passenger scanners.” In fact, safety tests on the machines were carried out by the manufacturers exclusively. They called for the body body scanners to be immediately suspended until independent tests can be done to validate their safety. EPIC has also called for independent testing.
For families traveling this summer, a study at Columbia University also warns pregnant women and children to avoid body scanners due to the possibility of cancer and birth defects from the ionizing radiation.