Report: TSA Body Scanning May Not Be Safe

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A TSA technician Gilles demonstrates the new full-body scanner.

Just when you thought going through an airport Transportation Security Administration scanner pretty much guaranteed your safety, along comes an investigation from our partners at AOL that says it probably isn’t.

(More on Time.com: TSA Scrambles to Combat the Outcry Over Body Scanning.)

Scanner technology requires that doses of X-rays be administered, which are supposed to be harmless. Most doses we get of X-ray radiation have no effect on us, but the timing of a beam’s sweep across a person’s body could cause damage. And although most radiation emitting equipment is regulated, non-medical devices do not fall under FDA scrutiny, the report said:

The amount of radiation generated by a properly calibrated full-body device in the typical 15-second-long scan is equal to about an hour of normal background radiation, such as the amount absorbed while walking through a park, the TSA says.

But physicians and most radiation health specialists say there is no “safe” dose of radiation, so any planned exposure must be justified.

Read more of AOL’s investigative report here.

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