Congressman warns about airport scanners - New York News

Congressman warns about airport scanners

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As the busy end-of-summer travel period is getting underway, a New York congressman says the airport security scanners that millions of travelers are going through have health risks.

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) is calling on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to investigate risks from Backscatter X-ray machines.

Rep. Israel was planning a Tuesday morning news conference to warn of potential health risks when entering full-body Backscatter X-ray scanners at airport security.

He claims the risk is especially high for young children and pregnant women.

Backscatter X-ray machines detect radiation that reflects from a subject instead of traditional machines that transmit through the target.

244 of the scanners are being used at 36 airports across the country, according to Israel.  The TSA has called the machines safe.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not subject the airport scanners to the same evaluations as medical X-rays because they are not used for medical purposes.

It has claimed that a person would have to be screened more than a thousand times in one year to exceed the annual radiation dose limit for people screening that has been set by expert radiation safety organizations.

That hasn't stopped at least one company from marketing what it calls radiation shielding undergarments to protect radiation from airport scanners.

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