Tuesday, October 23, 2012

TSA Removes Some X-Ray Scanners from NYC Airports

Photo: TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been quietly removing some X-ray body scanners from major airports over the last few weeks and replacing them with machines that radiation experts believe are safer, ProPublica reports. Kennedy International and Laguardia Airport are among those where machines are being replaced.

The TSA says it made the decision not because of safety concerns but to speed up checkpoints at busier airports. The X-ray scanners are being moved to smaller airports.

X-ray scanners emit a small dose of ionizing radiation, which at higher levels has been linked to cancer. Experts worry about the calibration of these machines and the many medical unknowns connected to their use.

In addition, the machines produce images of passengers' naked bodies. Each image must be reviewed by a TSA officer.

If passengers refuse to be X-rayed, they must submit to an invasive physical pat down -- called groping by many -- by a TSA officer of uncertain qualifications. (Luggage theft has drastically increased as the number of TSA agents examining suitcases has increased.)

The replacement machines, known as millimeter-wave scanners, rely on low-energy radio waves similar to those used in cell phones, according to ProPublica.

The X-ray scanner looks like two blue refrigerator-sized boxes. The millimeter-wave scanner looks like a round glass booth. More here.

- Full Body Scanners Rolling Out at LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark Airports
- Opt Out of Airport Scanners, TSA Groping
- TSA Airport Scanner Tests Show More Radiation than Expected

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

No comments: