Amid concerns regarding terrorists targeting airliners using weapons less detectable by traditional means, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is ramping up deployment of whole body scanners at security checkpoints in U.S. airports. These systems produce anatomically accurate images of the body and can detect objects and substances concealed by clothing.
To date, TSA has deployed two types of scanning systems:
An airline passenger flying cross-country is exposed to more radiation from the flight than from screening by one of these devices. The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) has reported that a traveler would need to experience 2,500 backscatter scans per year to reach what they classify as a Negligible Individual Dose. The American College of Radiology (ACR) agrees with this conclusion.
The ACR is not aware of any evidence that either of the scanning technologies that the TSA is considering would present significant biological effects for passengers screened.
Materials provided by American College of Radiology / American Roentgen Ray Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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