Getting through security at an airport in America can often be a huge task to take on. Not only do we have to take our shoes off and make sure there are no pennies in our pockets, we also have to limit the amount of liquids we bring on board. The x-ray scanners that are now popping up in more and more airports are causing more problems. The main reason for this is the risk of radiation and people who don’t want it.
These scanners are currently used in 36 airports throughout the United States. There have not been any long term studies done to show whether or not they are safe, which is why so many people opt for a pat-down instead. Although the T.S.A. says the scanners were assessed by the FDA and public health offices, a lot of scientists think they pose as quite a risk to individual health.
Even when these are functioning properly, they still beam radiation for a short amount of time onto the person being scanned. The T.S.A. also hasn’t released full information about how they work, which worries a lot of people. One scientist in particular has a problem with the number of times these machines are checked for problems. The T.S.A. says they are checked once a year while x-ray machines at hospitals are checked on a daily basis. This could mean thousands of people per day being scanned with large doses of radiation and not even being aware of it. This could prove to be extremely unsafe for children, pregnant women and many other types of people.
The good news is that there are optional pat-downs people can choose instead. These are going to require a lot of touching, but they don’t carry the same risks as the x-ray scanners do.