We’ve all heard the rumors, received the email cartoons, and have heard media wax ad nauseum on airport security vs. human rights, broken urostomy bag vs. overly eager probing agent, forced public prosthetic breast removal on a flight attendant, shocking labia grabs on women, and on and on.
Detroit’s Metro Airport made global news for its overly aggressive TSA agent who caused the cancer survivor’s urostomy bag to let go, drenching him in in urine and humiliation.
With 350 full-body Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines in almost 70 airports — expected to bloom to 1,000 by late 2011 — the excess of 67,000 TSA employees makes a mind-boggling equation. Just how many variations of gape and gropes are there, along with the types of scan-radiation poisoning? This probably won’t be pretty.
And in the months/years to come, will the TSA only be able to employ sex predators as “agents?” TSA hiring might even cause unemployment figures to shift!
A lot of the feedback is in, and here is what the experts are saying. There are multiple layers to be dealt with; the first deals with those pesky, invasive body scans.
Dr. Mercola’s column at Mercola.com shares that The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which is a leading privacy group, asked a federal appeals court in late November to suspend the full-body imaging scans. EPIC cites violations of the 4th Amendment, which protects against invasive search or arrest.
Passengers, pilots and advocacy groups are all objecting to the scans, as well as the “enhanced pat-downs” alternative — which some people have equaled to sexual battery, due to the nature of the TSA techniques now employed.
San Francisco’s University of California scientists contacted the White House last April, listing health risks like skin cancer, due to the scanning ionizing radiation that is emitted. Studies involving X-rays point to the back-scatter machines as causing most types of cancers, as well as ischemic heart disease, says leading global expert Professor John Gofman, MD of U.C. Berkeley.
Gofman says what worries him is that ionized radiation is a potent mutagen because it goes amok in the cells and shifts their genetic code. These cells are not able to repair such complex damage, and although some die, the surviving cells are subsequently to blame for the most aggressive cancers.
The machines have not been tested, say experts from the University of California — San Francisco Dr. John Sedat, Dr. David Agard, Dr. Robert Stroud and international cancer expert Dr. Marc Shuman. So, they argue, the government does not even know if they are safe.
The scientists currently list 10 types of people who are especially at risk during scans:
- Seniors over the age of 65, due to the known biology of melanocyte aging.
- Females, who when exposed to mutagenesis-provoking radiation, develop breast cancer.
- Anyone prone to problems due to irradiated white blood cells.
- Cancer and HIV patients.
- Children and adolescents.
- Fetuses via their pregnant moms.
- Those with sperm; it will be genetically affected.
- Anyone with corneas and thymuses.
- Anyone being scanned when power spikes or failures occur, leading to electrical surging and concentrated beams on areas of exposed skin and organs near it.
- Men whose groins are scanned more slowly looking for contraband, and thus, exposed to higher and longer doses in the family jewels.
Don’t miss Parts 2 and 3 of this series, to learn more about health risks and airport screening tips.
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