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(BusinessWeek)   Expert: "Only one in 30 million people will probably get cancer from scanners." US Airlines: "532 million people fly per year"   (businessweek.com) divider line 419
    More: Scary, National Council on Disability, radiation exposures, R-AZ, Arizona State University  
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9972 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Nov 2010 at 6:00 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-11-24 04:27:03 PM
Peter Rez, a professor of physics at Arizona State University, said that when a scanner is working properly the amount of radiation exposed is very low.

Those things are not operated by radiologic technicians but simple TSA agents. Who tells me that they can operate them right, provide maintenance and spot when something is going wrong? It's not like the scanned person would get an insta-sunburn or catch fire. How many people would walk through a malfunctioning scanner, that might expose you to a X times higher dose, before they would realize something is wrong?
 
2010-11-24 04:38:34 PM
For reference, what are the odds that your plane gets hijacked and/or gets blown up?
 
2010-11-24 04:40:37 PM
I question that it's even 1 in 30 million.

still higher than the probability of getting killed by terrorists, though.
 
2010-11-24 04:46:38 PM
Well now that doesn't add up. 532 million US residents fly per year? There aren't that many US residents. 532 million passengers? Some of those have to be duplicates. What about frequent flyers - folks who fly monthly or weekly? Are they just farked?
 
2010-11-24 04:50:15 PM
Rez also said he would opt out since he didn't know the rate of failure on those machines.
 
2010-11-24 05:01:16 PM
ParallelUniverseParking: Those things are not operated by radiologic technicians but simple TSA agents. Who tells me that they can operate them right, provide maintenance and spot when something is going wrong? It's not like the scanned person would get an insta-sunburn or catch fire. How many people would walk through a malfunctioning scanner, that might expose you to a X times higher dose, before they would realize something is wrong?

I often wonder about other cars that drive by me on the road being operated by simple everyday people and not automotive engineers. Are they bad drivers? Can they change their own oil? Do they even know where the catalytic converter is? It's not like you can tell right away if the person approaching you from behind is going to suddenly accelerate and rear end you. How many people drive the roads surrounded by bad drivers without realizing that one of them could cause a fatal accident at any moment? How many could respond to save their own lives?


Yes, I'm being a dick here but c'mon. The scanners are designed to be about as idiot proof as possible for just the reasons you listed. Then again, so are most cars. Arguably a rapidly propelled 2 ton box of steal and plastic containing a large amount of flammable liquid has a far more realistic chance of causing serious mayhem compared to a full body scanner. Consider this for a moment, even if somebody was exposed to 100x the dose of a regular scan, it still wouldn't be a big deal for 99.9% of the population.
 
2010-11-24 05:05:40 PM
Someone always eventually wins the lottery too. It still happens.
 
2010-11-24 05:16:08 PM
moothemagiccow: . What about frequent flyers - folks who fly monthly or weekly? Are they just farked?

the odds of them getting cancer are now 12 in 30 million, or even 52 in 30 million. they might as well end it now!
 
2010-11-24 05:19:32 PM
I wonder what the probability of being even remotely harmed by a terrorist or their actions (TSA aside) on a plane are.
 
2010-11-24 05:25:41 PM
jmaster306: Consider this for a moment, even if somebody was exposed to 100x the dose of a regular scan, it still wouldn't be a big deal for 99.9% of the population.

Except that driving a car serves a useful purpose, the scanners don't. Even the Israelis don't bother with this kind of crap.
 
2010-11-24 05:27:56 PM
hockeyfarker: I question that it's even 1 in 30 million.

still higher than the probability of getting killed by terrorists, though.


532/30 = 17.7 fatal cancers a year. More than the number that die from airborne terrorism. And that assumes they will stop the terrorists.
 
2010-11-24 05:30:00 PM
hockeyfarker: moothemagiccow: . What about frequent flyers - folks who fly monthly or weekly? Are they just farked?

the odds of them getting cancer are now 12 in 30 million, or even 52 in 30 million. they might as well end it now!


It's actually 50/50. You're either going to get cancer or you won't.
 
2010-11-24 05:30:05 PM
Complacent. Like Hindu cows. The illusion of security. Post 9/11 world...etc.
 
2010-11-24 05:30:50 PM
1) NOBODY flies just once.
2) The TSA agents are not allowed to wear dosimiters

that is all
 
2010-11-24 05:40:21 PM
torch: 2) The TSA agents are not allowed to wear dosimiters

I would think OSHA would be all over that.
 
2010-11-24 05:41:53 PM
impaler: 532/30 = 17.7 fatal cancers a year.

The loss of 18 innocent lives per year is a SMALL price to pay to not be terrorized

by people who don't live here.
 
2010-11-24 05:42:49 PM
basemetal: torch: 2) The TSA agents are not allowed to wear dosimiters

I would think OSHA would be all over that.


The TSA's rules overrule all laws and even the Constitution. You think they give a f*ck about OSHA?
 
2010-11-24 05:50:36 PM
jmaster306: ParallelUniverseParking:

Yes, I'm being a dick here but c'mon. The scanners are designed to be about as idiot proof as possible for just the reasons you listed. Then again, so are most cars. Arguably a rapidly propelled 2 ton box of steal and plastic containing a large amount of flammable liquid has a far more realistic chance of causing serious mayhem compared to a full body scanner. Consider this for a moment, even if somebody was exposed to 100x the dose of a regular scan, it still wouldn't be a big deal for 99.9% of the population.


It's risk vs. benefit. We risk our lives on the streets every day to get from 'a' to 'b'. I actually like your example: About 120 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States. Safer & better cars will hopefully cause this number to shrink. How many people die in the US or planes coming from the US due to terrorism? How many of those terrorist attacks have been prevented by the TSA. Really, I don't actually know. How many will be prevented by those scanners? Again: I put up with the very real risk of dying in a car because I need a car. I do not like to put up even with a super-minimal risk that those scanners might pose because I think the actual benefit of these things is even less- namely 0%.
 
2010-11-24 05:51:09 PM
BumpyMcNipples: impaler: 532/30 = 17.7 fatal cancers a year.

The loss of 18 innocent lives per year is a SMALL price to pay to not be terrorized

by people who don't live here.


I like those people with (insert cause here) that shout... "BUT IF WE ONLY SAVE ONE PERSON IT'S WORTH OUR EFFORT"

The dog and pony show put on by the TSA is just that.
 
2010-11-24 05:53:05 PM
All we need to do is develop a booth that you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have hidden on or in your body. The explosion will be contained within the sealed booth. This would be a win-win for everyone. There would be no racial profiling and the device would eliminate long and expensive trials. This is so simple it's brilliant! I can see it now: you're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Then an announcement comes over the PA system, "Attention standby passengers, we now have a seat available on flight number...
 
2010-11-24 05:54:10 PM
and while I'm at it...
i483.photobucket.com
 
2010-11-24 06:01:49 PM
jmaster306: ParallelUniverseParking:

Yes, I'm being a dick here but c'mon. The scanners are designed to be about as idiot proof as possible for just the reasons you listed. Consider this for a moment, even if somebody was exposed to 100x the dose of a regular scan, it still wouldn't be a big deal for 99.9% of the population.


You see, NOW you're a dick. And if you'd be the 'somebody' poor sucka who'd be exposed to the 100x dose you'd be a cancer-spotted-dick.

/how do you know the scanners are 'idiot proof' btw?
 
2010-11-24 06:02:23 PM
BumpyMcNipples: impaler: 532/30 = 17.7 fatal cancers a year.

The loss of 18 innocent lives per year is a SMALL price to pay to not be terrorized

by people who don't live here.


That is not how probability works.
 
2010-11-24 06:04:21 PM
Really this shiat again?

A scan is the equivalent of...

3 minutes of flying at altitude

17 minutes everyday living

Keep on herping that derp.

By the way, good job on those protests today. The internet really showed the evil TSA.
 
2010-11-24 06:05:18 PM
Tr0mBoNe: All we need to do is develop a booth that you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have hidden on or in your body. The explosion will be contained within the sealed booth. This would be a win-win for everyone. There would be no racial profiling and the device would eliminate long and expensive trials. This is so simple it's brilliant! I can see it now: you're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Then an announcement comes over the PA system, "Attention standby passengers, we now have a seat available on flight number...

Lol that would be amazing actually. You wouldn't even need them to work really. Just have those 1980 movie beeps and boops going when you step into a box and it would scare people shiatless. Make up a story how some d-bag esploded in one with his bomb to boot!
 
2010-11-24 06:05:43 PM
I like how everyone just seems to have accepted this guy's 1 in 30 million number.

Peter Rez, a professor of physics at Arizona State University, said that when a scanner is working properly the amount of radiation exposed is very low.

"The probability of getting a fatal cancer is about one in 30 million, which puts it lower than the probability of being killed by being struck by lightning in any year in the United States, which is about one in 5 million," he said.


Spoken like a true physicist with know biology training or knowledge of cancer whatsoever. Nice.
 
2010-11-24 06:05:49 PM
BunkyBrewman: I like those people with (insert cause here) that shout... "BUT IF WE ONLY SAVE ONE PERSON IT'S WORTH OUR EFFORT"

Those same people would probably argue I shouldn't have rounded up to 18. Which is true, and I feel bad about it. Somewhere out there, there's some poor dude who's 70% dead and upset I rounded up.

t2.gstatic.com

Whatever. Only a 9% chance I'd have to hear him complain about it anyway, and that's assuming he's a farker and I care.

/Brain, mouth, & hands not working
//.7+.7*.7*.7=.91
\The jerk probably hasn't even removed the eels from his hovercraft yet.
 
2010-11-24 06:06:09 PM
ThisNameSux: Really this shiat again?

A scan is the equivalent of...

3 minutes of flying at altitude

17 minutes everyday living

Keep on herping that derp.

By the way, good job on those protests today. The internet really showed the evil TSA.


Dude, you bring this up in every TSA thread even though it's been refuted many times by many folks in every TSA thread.

Give it a rest or get new material, already.
 
2010-11-24 06:07:09 PM
Crosshair: Except that driving a car serves a useful purpose, the scanners don't. Even the Israelis don't bother with this kind of crap.

ParallelUniverseParking: It's risk vs. benefit. We risk our lives on the streets every day to get from 'a' to 'b'. I actually like your example: About 120 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States. Safer & better cars will hopefully cause this number to shrink. How many people die in the US or planes coming from the US due to terrorism? How many of those terrorist attacks have been prevented by the TSA. Really, I don't actually know. How many will be prevented by those scanners? Again: I put up with the very real risk of dying in a car because I need a car. I do not like to put up even with a super-minimal risk that those scanners might pose because I think the actual benefit of these things is even less- namely 0%.

These are perfectly legitimate arguments to make and personally I'm undecided on whether or not these will actually do any good. I just know enough of the science to understand that while they might be expensive and useless, they are by no means dangerous.
 
2010-11-24 06:07:21 PM
ParallelUniverseParking: Peter Rez, a professor of physics at Arizona State University, said that when a scanner is working properly the amount of radiation exposed is very low.

Those things are not operated by radiologic technicians but simple TSA agents. Who tells me that they can operate them right, provide maintenance and spot when something is going wrong? It's not like the scanned person would get an insta-sunburn or catch fire. How many people would walk through a malfunctioning scanner, that might expose you to a X times higher dose, before they would realize something is wrong?


Reminds me of a case study from an engineering ethics class. These guys who were doing electron beam welding one day found out someone replaced the leaded glass in their rig with regular glass. and then had to change careers. shiat is expensive because Palin-Americans aren't able to understand and manage any risk let alone the subtle ones.
 
2010-11-24 06:09:40 PM
ThisNameSux: Really this shiat again?

A scan is the equivalent of...

3 minutes of flying at altitude

17 minutes everyday living

Keep on herping that derp.

By the way, good job on those protests today. The internet really showed the evil TSA.


There you are, I knew you'd come here to stump for the TSA. Someone's gotta stand up for the useless and incompetent.
 
2010-11-24 06:09:49 PM
ThisNameSux: Really this shiat again?

A scan is the equivalent of...

3 minutes of flying at altitude

17 minutes everyday living

Keep on herping that derp.


Again? After you just got pawned in the last thread? You have some kind of nasty 'posting autism', don't you?
 
2010-11-24 06:10:25 PM
Tr0mBoNe: All we need to do is develop a booth that you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have hidden on or in your body. The explosion will be contained within the sealed booth. This would be a win-win for everyone.

What about the poor slob TSA agent who has to hose that thing out after every detonation? Not exactly a win for that person. Though I'd still rather do that than stand by an X ray machine all day, soaking untold amounts of "safe" radiation.
 
2010-11-24 06:10:48 PM
In other news, ten years from now, several TSA scanner operators will begin to develop super powers after all those years of radiation exposure. I smell a sitcom...
 
2010-11-24 06:10:49 PM
ThisNameSux: A scan is the equivalent of...

3 minutes of flying at altitude


I did a quick calculation and came up with 20 minutes, but still, compared to the radiation you get from actually flying, the radiation from a Compton backscatter image is trivial.
 
2010-11-24 06:11:08 PM
I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer earlier this year and I do not care how low it is, I cannot willing expose the healthy half of the thyroid I have left to radiation. The results would be bad.

So, bring on McGropenstein.
 
2010-11-24 06:11:29 PM
lennavan: I like how everyone just seems to have accepted this guy's 1 in 30 million number.

Peter Rez, a professor of physics at Arizona State University, said that when a scanner is working properly the amount of radiation exposed is very low.

"The probability of getting a fatal cancer is about one in 30 million, which puts it lower than the probability of being killed by being struck by lightning in any year in the United States, which is about one in 5 million," he said.

Spoken like a true physicist with know biology training or knowledge of cancer whatsoever. Nice.


spoken a derp who can't spell.

biology training? is that, like, a college course or sumthin'? i assume you can take that after your Noledge of Cancer 301 class.
 
2010-11-24 06:12:20 PM
...or about the equivalent of breathing in second hand seal flatulence
 
2010-11-24 06:13:46 PM
ThisNameSux: Really this shiat again?

A scan is the equivalent of...

3 minutes of flying at altitude

17 minutes everyday living

Keep on herping that derp.

By the way, good job on those protests today. The internet really showed the evil TSA.


...When the scanner is working properly. TSA "agents" are bottom of the barrel employees. I don't trust them to operate the machine properly. I also don't trust them to maintain them properly. Bottom line: I don't trust them.

Tell me, what level of radiation are you comfortable being exposed to by someone you don't trust?
 
Xai
2010-11-24 06:13:53 PM
given that 0 terrorists have been caught by the TSA that means we are paying $220million a year to ensure the deaths of aproximately 17 americans a year.

Woo!
 
2010-11-24 06:14:05 PM
that's a lot of Hulks..
 
2010-11-24 06:14:45 PM

Yes, I'm being a dick here but c'mon. The scanners are designed to be about as idiot proof as possible for just the reasons you listed. Then again, so are most cars. Arguably a rapidly propelled 2 ton box of steal and plastic containing a large amount of flammable liquid has a far more realistic chance of causing serious mayhem compared to a full body scanner. Consider this for a moment, even if somebody was exposed to 100x the dose of a regular scan, it still wouldn't be a big deal for 99.9% of the population.


Bullshiatt. The scanners are designed to get bought by the TSA. That is all they are designed for. Even if they were designed by qualified people for medical use, I'd be worried. Google Therac 25 to see why.
 
2010-11-24 06:14:52 PM
ParallelUniverseParking: You see, NOW you're a dick. And if you'd be the 'somebody' poor sucka who'd be exposed to the 100x dose you'd be a cancer-spotted-dick.

/how do you know the scanners are 'idiot proof' btw?


The "idiot proof" statement comes from a presupposition based on the skill of your average TSA worker, the propensity for large companies to enjoy not being sued and the FDA review of the device.

As for the 100x statement, that comes from reading and understanding the FDA's Response over concerns that the radiation dose had been incorrectly calculated. You honestly could go to 1,000x but I figured a more modest 100x would be more believable.
 
2010-11-24 06:15:01 PM
jmaster306: ParallelUniverseParking: Those things are not operated by radiologic technicians but simple TSA agents. Who tells me that they can operate them right, provide maintenance and spot when something is going wrong? It's not like the scanned person would get an insta-sunburn or catch fire. How many people would walk through a malfunctioning scanner, that might expose you to a X times higher dose, before they would realize something is wrong?

I often wonder about other cars that drive by me on the road being operated by simple everyday people and not automotive engineers. Are they bad drivers? Can they change their own oil? Do they even know where the catalytic converter is? It's not like you can tell right away if the person approaching you from behind is going to suddenly accelerate and rear end you. How many people drive the roads surrounded by bad drivers without realizing that one of them could cause a fatal accident at any moment? How many could respond to save their own lives?


Yes, I'm being a dick here but c'mon. The scanners are designed to be about as idiot proof as possible for just the reasons you listed. Then again, so are most cars. Arguably a rapidly propelled 2 ton box of steal and plastic containing a large amount of flammable liquid has a far more realistic chance of causing serious mayhem compared to a full body scanner. Consider this for a moment, even if somebody was exposed to 100x the dose of a regular scan, it still wouldn't be a big deal for 99.9% of the population.


You tried to make a point but it backfired. Traveling by car is one of the most dangerous things you can do for a reason
 
2010-11-24 06:15:20 PM
Barakku: I wonder what the probability of being even remotely harmed by a terrorist or their actions (TSA aside) on a plane are.

The 527 million number is low. If you figure they used the nude-o-scopes on everyone that flew since 9/11 you would have more dead passengers from the nude-o-scopes than from the terrorists. (The total death toll would still be higher for the terrorists, though.)

Note that this is going with the TSA numbers, something that many people who deal with such stuff say is wrong, the actual risk is considerably higher.

It could be argued that it's worth it but since the nude-o-scopes are hopeless against bombs in body cavities there's no upside. To kill that many just to inconvenience terrorists isn't worth it.
 
2010-11-24 06:15:26 PM
jmaster306: ParallelUniverseParking: Those things are not operated by radiologic technicians but simple TSA agents. Who tells me that they can operate them right, provide maintenance and spot when something is going wrong? It's not like the scanned person would get an insta-sunburn or catch fire. How many people would walk through a malfunctioning scanner, that might expose you to a X times higher dose, before they would realize something is wrong?

I often wonder about other cars that drive by me on the road being operated by simple everyday people and not automotive engineers. Are they bad drivers? Can they change their own oil? Do they even know where the catalytic converter is? It's not like you can tell right away if the person approaching you from behind is going to suddenly accelerate and rear end you. How many people drive the roads surrounded by bad drivers without realizing that one of them could cause a fatal accident at any moment? How many could respond to save their own lives?


Yes, I'm being a dick here but c'mon. The scanners are designed to be about as idiot proof as possible for just the reasons you listed. Then again, so are most cars. Arguably a rapidly propelled 2 ton box of steal and plastic containing a large amount of flammable liquid has a far more realistic chance of causing serious mayhem compared to a full body scanner. Consider this for a moment, even if somebody was exposed to 100x the dose of a regular scan, it still wouldn't be a big deal for 99.9% of the population.


I bet at least some of those idiot drivers know their car is made of steel and not steal.
 
2010-11-24 06:15:39 PM
The terrorists are laughing their balls off at you irradiated pussies.
 
2010-11-24 06:16:17 PM
I swear you'd think that these TSA articles were somehow connected to Wampler with the amount of appearances they make on Fark.

We get it, getting grouped and getting cancer is a bad thing...unless you're into kinky stuff with your SO and enjoy a good cigarette afterward.
 
2010-11-24 06:16:29 PM
ThisNameSux: The internet really showed the evil TSA.

Somebody got showed, all right. Empty security lines on the supposed busiest travel day of the year?

I give it 6 months before the CEOs of United, Delta, American et al are all begging Congress for a bailout.
 
2010-11-24 06:16:38 PM
ThisNameSux: Really this shiat again?

A scan is the equivalent of...

3 minutes of flying at altitude

17 minutes everyday living

Keep on herping that derp.

By the way, good job on those protests today. The internet really showed the evil TSA.


I'll be damned, you're right.
Your name *DOES* sux.
 
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