My Personal No-Fly Zone: X-Ray Body Scanners

Via DCBlogger of Corrente, we have a ProPublica article about the spreading use of X-ray body scanners at airport checkpoints, despite significant concerns that a few people a year may get cancer from regular X-ray exposure. From the ProPublica article of 11/1/2011:

One after another, the experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration raised questions about the machine because it violated a longstanding principle in radiation safety — that humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a medical benefit.

Today, the United States has begun marching millions of airline passengers through the X-ray body scanners, parting ways with countries in Europe and elsewhere that have concluded that such widespread use of even low-level radiation poses an unacceptable health risk. The government is rolling out the X-ray scanners despite having a safer alternative that the Transportation Security Administration says is also highly effective.

A ProPublica/PBS NewsHour investigation of how this decision was made shows that in post-9/11 America, security issues can trump even long-established medical conventions. The final call to deploy the X-ray machines was made not by the FDA, which regulates drugs and medical devices, but by the TSA, an agency whose primary mission is to prevent terrorist attacks.

Right. We have been down that road before. Remember, back in the Vietnam War era, “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it“?

It is bad enough when insurance companies determine what treatments you may have and which ones you may not have, rather than going with your doctors’ decisions. Now we have the TSA “saving” you by “destroying” you. Welcome to our brave new world.

As I have said before… absent extreme emergency, I shall not fly until all this crap is at an end. The only way to influence a soulless corporation is to deny it profits, and the only way I can influence the airlines is to declare their full-body X-ray scanners my personal no-fly zone.

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