Airport Scanners: Proven Safe
November 02, 2011
While some groups remain skeptical about the safety of screening technologies, the cold, hard fact is that these machines have passed all necessary testing and are completely safe. Based on the TSA’s and FDA’s testing, backscatter x-rays expose passengers to an extremely trivial dose of radiation, below even the general background radiation we are exposed to on a daily basis. In radiation exposure terms, a backscatter x-ray scanning machine (.005 millirem per scan) is actually safer than a flight from New York to Los Angeles, which exposes travelers to 4 millirem.
The Secure 1000 is tested no less than three times before a machine is ever installed – by Rapiscan, by an independent third party and by the customer (either internally or using another independent third party). In the nearly 20 years that the Secure 1000 has been in use, we have never had to remove a machine for a safety issue from any installation, aviation or otherwise. Additionally, Rapiscan is completely open to legitimate, third party testing from any group of independent experts. To date, no requests have been made, but we will willingly participate in any additional testing or studies around the Secure 1000 and backscatter in general.
The US Army Public Health Command, at the recommendation of the TSA, has also tested backscatter scanners, reporting that the amount of radiation generated by a machine is minimal. You’d have to be screened 5,000 times to exceed the annual dose limit recommended by the American National Standards Institute. You can also check out our own research on the issue of safety when it comes to backscatter x-rays, available here. Beyond the Army, NIST and Johns Hopkins University have also tested and examined the Secure 1000 thoroughly, reaching the same result: It’s safe.
So as the holiday travel season approaches, don’t add stress to your list – opt for the scanner.
Category: Policy | Product News | Technology & Screening Solutions | Airports/Aviation Security | Misc. |