Five eminent professors from three prominent universities have issued a position paper stating that "there is still no hard data for the safety of x-ray airport passenger scanners." They declare that the claimed safety of the scanners by the TSA is based on "rigged tests." First, they didn't even test the machines. The testing was done on a custom combination of spare parts rigged together by the manufacturer (Rapidscan). The actual machines used at airports have never been tested. Second, the names of the researchers who conducted the tests have been kept secret, and their work has never been subject to peer review. These were secret tests, using secret methods, done by secret people, But, it's worse than that: the researchers did not do the testing. They were simply invited to observe tests that were done by the manufacturer on the manufacturer's turf and on the manufacturer's terms. Furthermore, all crucial numbers were redacted for being "proprietary."
The professors point out that the intensity of the TSA x-rays are comparable to a CT scan, which is the most intense diagnostic x-ray used in Medicine. They claim that the radiation detection device used by Rapidscan to measure the output of the machines – an ion chamber – is incapable of accurately measuring the high-intensity burst of radiation produced by the scanners. And, since the amount of electrical current applied to the X-ray tubes has been redacted by the TSA, it is impossible for third-party scientists to accurately calculate the actual radiation exposure.
The TSA adamantly refuses to allow independent testing of the radiation levels being emitted by the machines, and they claim it's because terrorists might gain an advantage. But that's ridiculous. These university scientists are offering to test the machines themselves. Can they not be trusted?
One professor, John Sedat, a professor emeritus in biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF and the primary author of the letter says, "..the best guess of the dose is much, much higher than certainly what the public thinks." Another professor, a physicist from Arizona State, Peter Rez, estimates that the actual dosage of radiation is 45X higher than what the TSA is saying.
There is also the danger of mechanical failure. The machines emit a high radiation beam that moves quickly back and forth across your entire body. But, if it gets stuck- if the wheel fails for any reason- it would focus an extremely high level of radiation to a very small cluster of body cells, mutating their DNA. The TSA has allowed no independent testing of these mechanical devices nor the software that controls them.
On its website, the TSA says that only .66% of travelers opt out of the scan. If true, I find it amazing that so many people submit to this. Why do they believe the government? It is the same government that lied us into war so many times. They lied about the swine flu to get us to take the shots. They have lied about the safety of other vaccinations. They said the air was safe to breathe at Ground Zero after 9/11-and now the workers are dying. And speaking of 9/11, over 1000 architects and engineers have signed a petition demanding a new independent investigation of the collapse of Building 7, which was never hit by a plane. They say that the government's scientific analysis of its collapse was preposterous and absurd. The point is that in matters of science, the government cannot be trusted.
My best advice to you is: don't let them x-ray you at the airport. Opt out. That is what i am going to do. Or, I won't fly at all.