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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Playing the TSA Cancer Lottery

The Japanesse nuclear reactor radiation leak and the risk taken by the Fukusima workers, as well as in food contamination, has focussed increased concern about the unsafe use of radiation equipment used by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) in x-ray machines to scan passengers at airports. David Brenner, Phd,DSr, a researcher at The Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University in New York, reports that TSA's use of the machines will create an increase risk to passenger by causing an additional 100 cancers in the population each year. He calls for the use of different equipment to screen passengers.

At a US Senate hearing last week, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) revealed that TSA had made reporting errors in the statistics it has compiled in defense of the use of body scanners. "That is completely unacceptable when it comes to monitoring radiation," Collins said. "If TSA contractors reporting on the radiation levels have done such a poor job, how can airline passengers and crew have confidence in the data used by the TSA to reassure the public?"

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