Airport Body Scanners: Good For Your Health

This entry was posted by Tuesday, 5 January, 2010
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A Spur For Fitness?

Technology: The un-girdle.

After the attempted attack on flight 523, “body scanners” are finally getting some respect. Heathrow Airport will be using them and several hundred of them have been purchased for use in airports in and out of the US.

Good, right? Nobody want’s to get blown up.

Except for the radiation and the nudity. Overexposure on two fronts.

Let’s start with the nudity.

It doesn’t exactly make sense to say that photos like the one at the top of this article are obscene.

Proof? They’ve been run on the front pages of major newspapers and on family television stations in prime time. If you search for “body scanner” this photo shows up in Google with “strict search” on. So where’s the obscenity? Why the discomfort?

Well check out those love handles! Check out that saggy butt! No WONDER they’re throwing rocks at the scanners. I would be too.

This is the single greatest counterstrike against obesity since MacDonald’s decided against staying open all night.

I’m serious!

WEEKS before scheduled trips, travelers will be taking time off from work for exhausting river runs and torturous gym workouts. Lettuce and Tomato will be the new Big Mac.

THANK you L3 for saving our figures. And our hearts.


What about the radiation then?

According to Cnet News, there are two technologies in use. One of them uses low intensity radio waves. The other one uses backscatter radiation, an x-ray technology. And, yeah, the health benefits of x-rays are sometimes overstated.

But, according to Wikipedia, the backscatter technology amounts to .005 millirem of radiation. Since average background radiation is about 300 mrem per year, you would have to get exposed about 60,000 times by one of those backscatter doobies to get the equivalent of what you get in a year at the library. A traveler would have to make about 200 trips a day or about one departure every 3 minutes (assuming a 10 hour travel day) to achieve even that.

Imagine the air mile rewards.

So, weighing costs and benefits, for the price of some institutional indignity (and if you plan to do much flying, you might as well get over THAT), you’re gonna lose the flab and get there in one piece. But you will get enough radiation exposure to die .00003 seconds early.

Seems reasonable to MISTER ScienceAintSoBad. ScienceAintSoBadRating = 8 .

(Image above from From the Rapiscan Secure 1000(tm) Body Scanner manufactured by OSI Systems, Inc.)

28 Responses to “Airport Body Scanners: Good For Your Health”

  1. Alan

    While I’d only approve of Christina Aguilera running the scanner on me, I’d still want to see her face the entire time. She’d better not laugh, or worse, wince |-)

    The issue is: who would *she* trust to scan her? What would Paparazzi pay for one of those images? Celebrities around the world will have a new bounty on their heads, so to speak. Be certain that they will hit the Internet someday.

  2. I think that full body scanners are extremely invasive. In actual use the images are large and very clear and very well defined. And while I am sure that everything will be private in the same way that celebrity’s medical records are private and no one on the screening assignment would ever accept a bribe, this is still very unsettling. Also, no that would be terrorists have one avenue closed to them perhaps they will think of another. It further bothers me that airlines now charge for checked baggage which is more secure than carryons which results in many more carry on stuff. A gun recently went undetected in a mid west airport. So the full body scans invade are sense of well being, our privacy, and will not remove the terror threat. Finally, the most advanced electronic test is only as good and secure as the person operating it.

  3. Hello there. Thanks for this site. I visit it regularly to get the newest stuff. Very useful posting.

  4. ‘t-ray’ is a new kind of technology, how can I know what kind of effects it could do to your organs! Maybe we will find the truth in 40 years! Well I don’t want to take the risk. Why would I allow my body to be bombarded by some ‘safe’ radiation? In my opinion, these machines are being forced on the innocent travellers. Only those terrorists people should be scanned!!educate yourself:

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