I’M FROM THE GOVERNMENT…
The astute declaration of President Ronald Reagan, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.'” occur in my thoughts when I mull over the developing outrage around the Transportation Security Administration’s new-found procedure of scanning of the bodies of fliers.
EXCESSIVE DOSES OF RADIATION FROM TSA BODY SCANNERS A GROUNDS FOR ANXIETY
A group of experts expressed their apprehension to Obama’s science and technology adviser John Holdren. Dr. John W. Sedat, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, UC, San Francisco and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, in a well-thought-out communication was joined by three other similarly credentialed faculty members in expressing their concerns in that letter dated April 6, 2010. In that communication they articulated “concerns about the potential serious health risks” with reference to the “the dose to the skin may be dangerously high” that the Transportation Safety Administration is subjecting passengers too at airports across this country. In that note they made it known that radiation enhances cancer threats by harming the DNA and diverse components inside the cells.
WHAT THE RADIATION INVADES, NOT THE DOSE, MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
The scanners the Transportation Safety Administration makes use of concentrate the majority of the energy on the surface of the skin and pierce a few millimeters into the skin. The apprehension is that there are a number of very radiation-sensitive tissues close to the skin such as testes, eyes, and circulating blood.
Considering this, it looks illusory to contend that the amount being administered is a thousand times less than a chest X-ray, or, that it is a lot less than what airline customers are subjected to in-flight. It is the amount of the tissue exposed that matters when potential effects of possible radiation damage is evaluated.
ARE YOU, OR SOMEONE YOU ARE FRIENDS WITH, IN ONE OF THESE CLASSES?
Babies, little kids, pregnant women, older people, individuals with impaired immunity (those with HIV infection, cancer patients, people with immune deficiency disorders, and people with defective DNA repair mechanism are some groups of people that are at a more elevated risk than the general public. At this time the Transportation Safety Administration is not differentiating between these groups based on the risks.
Older people are also in a special division when it comes to radiation exposure. Their DNA accumulates a considerable quantity of unrepaired damage, to the point where even small doses of radiation can cause the development of skin cancers, as well as melanoma which is potentially deadly. Exposing their eyes to low doses of radiation is also a concern, since exposure to radiation could boost their danger of developing cataracts.
YOU CAN’T COUNT ON THE EXPERTS
Recollect when the American College of Radiology reassured us that the CT scans were safe and sound and that the radiation amounted to one chest X-ray. Currently we have learned that the dose that is in a CT scan is equal to one thousand chest X-rays. Based that experience, it can pretty much be predicted that when the real effects of these full body scanners on health become identified, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and the remainder of the “officials” who maintain the scanners are safe and sound will be long gone.