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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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9973 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Nov 2010 at 6:00 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-11-25 06:17:15 AM  
Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: For reference, what are the odds that your plane gets hijacked and/or gets blown up?

If someone didn't feel like blowing up a plane before, the odds that they're going to after a fisting from the TSA is going to be significantly bigger.
 
2010-11-25 06:24:55 AM  
Badgers: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: For reference, what are the odds that your plane gets hijacked and/or gets blown up?

If someone didn't feel like blowing up a plane before, the odds that they're going to after a fisting from the TSA is going to be significantly bigger.


No fisting. Ufia perhaps but no fisting.
 
2010-11-25 06:29:56 AM  
Vern: I guarantee that middle aged white guy with his wife and two kids probably isn't going to take an airplane hostage. Profile where it needs it, if you're coming from a country that has hostile Islamic fundamentalist groups, you get a check.

What about middle aged white guys and girls who have already blown up multiple russian airliners ? You do know where the Caucasian heartland is, their religion and who the word Caucasian specifically refers to, yes ?

//of course you don't
//and it's not just the chechens either.
//I'm presuming you'd let a blonde syrian or red haired green eyed North Afghani through, no problem, they are white after all.
 
2010-11-25 06:43:31 AM  
tonguedepressor: Badgers: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: For reference, what are the odds that your plane gets hijacked and/or gets blown up?

If someone didn't feel like blowing up a plane before, the odds that they're going to after a fisting from the TSA is going to be significantly bigger.

No fisting. Ufia perhaps but no fisting.


dysonology.files.wordpress.com

/Moooon Riveeer...
 
2010-11-25 07:25:51 AM  
tacmakr: Loren: tacmakr:
There has been plenty of intelligent discussion of whether they could catch the underwear bomber, the general opinion being they couldn't. Even the TSA only says they might have caught him. They're also completely useless against stuff hidden in body cavities.

I'll take this one for rhetorical value as I could argue semantics with you on all of them, but it would undermine my point. Saying that the scanners would not have been usefull against the underwear bomber "in general opinion" and that they're useless against stuff hidden in body cavities is not the same as saying they are useless (which they may well be). My question is, how can we know they are useless. As with any preventative measure, if something has been prevented and we dont know about it, there is nothing to measure.


The TSA themselves have said that the scanners will only provide a surface scan and not internal, and would henceforth been useless against an internally concealed explosive device. A video posted earlier proves this point.

Here is a Link for convenience sake.



It seems that individual risk (comparison to lightning strikes or death by terrorists) is the only thing being considered when in fact 9/11 changed that for air travel. I dont believe the scanners have anything to do with minimizing the risk to individuals from the treat of terrorist but rather minimizing the chance of an individual being able to gain control of the plane and using it as a weapon. I am not arguing that it is definitely effective in that regard, simply that the scope is greater than 17 individuals a year (even if I conceed that point).

1 passenger plane, passengers and crew plus one metropolitan center, the resulting damage to industry, the national economy, rescue, military engagements etc... Would preventing even one incident of that nature be worth it? One a year? We love mocking the TSA, but I havent seen another plane flying into a building, doubt that can be attributed to luck.


This has been addressed in the months following 9/11. Cockpits were locked with secured doors, pilots were armed with firearms as well as fire axes.
Furthermore since hijacking itself changed from diverting a flight to another location to suicide bombings, the public itself adapted to meet the threat. Virtually all aircraft bombing attempts since 9/11 have been thwarted by passengers, not TSA.


I do not trust them when they say its safe, but I don't know otherwise either (Im certainly not gonna take anybody's word in this thread for it). They can grope me all they like though. Who am I kidding, I'll get scanned.

Cheers, I enjoyed reading all your remarks btw
 
2010-11-25 08:06:00 AM  
I don't get it. I thought these things were suppose to be based on ultrasound with no radiation?
 
2010-11-25 08:21:27 AM  
I still love that the pilot's union is suggesting that in order to save time that pilots not have to go through the full body scanner! Yeah, to save time.
 
2010-11-25 08:21:58 AM  
Smurfme: I don't get it. I thought these things were suppose to be based on ultrasound with no radiation?

Well, technically it's all radiation. As an example, visible light is radiation as well, just in a different part of the spectrum.
www.antonine-education.co.uk

The thing about radiation is, the shorter the wavelength, the greater the energy of that wave.
As an example, we are bathed in radio waves on a near constant basis. Visible light also is ever present and yet seems to not harm us. These are relatively low energy waves. Now as you move past visible light the first stop is Ultraviolet.
This is where we start taking serious precautions, sunglasses, sunscreen etc to protect ourselves. One step higher and you have X-rays. These are very short wave, very high energy waves. They can be applied in "relative" safety but no ammount of xray radiation is considered good for the human body.
Next up you have Gamma rays, which will kill you dead, or turn you into the hulk.

The new scanners use X-ray radiation. Relatively low power ones, but still X-rays. The major issue is that they are not penetrating, by the TSA's own admission. Since they are not penetrating, most of their energy is absorbed by the skin and the tissues immediately below it. Think of it this way.
If you have two watermelons, and shoot them both with the same gun. However on one you use an armor piercing bullet, on the other you use a hollow point. The melon shot w/ the armor piercer will have 2 neat holes, one entry, one exit, but will be mostly intact. The one that is hit with the hollow point will explode like a Gallagher victim.
 
2010-11-25 08:28:57 AM  
In conclusion. Whereas the claim is that the amount of energy these xrays are exerting is minimal compared to a medical xray, the issue is, in a medical xray, much of the energy is actually piercing the body, and not being absorbed by it, ie, armor piercer. In the backscatter, your body is absorbing most of what's being fired, ie, hollow point. Your skin, and immediately underlying tissues, eyes, testes, etc. are not happy about this.
 
2010-11-25 09:12:27 AM  
Loren:
Gleeman: ForgotMyTowel: "Kant added that the system has multiple safety mechanisms, and that "we have never had a problem."

You know what else had "multiple safety mechanisms and never had a problem"?


Yep.

A bad example. That was an example of an inherently unsafe design and it had a madman at the controls. All those safeties don't do squat when you turn them off as part of a test to prove the reactor is safe even without them and then persist in continuing your test even when things are going wrong. He waited until the last instant to order the reactor scram and then was undone by one more bit of insane design--the control rods were graphite-tipped which momentarily turned up the heat as they dropped in place. The reactor went prompt critical--the dividing line between a reactor and a very lousy version of an atomic bomb.


To be honest the Chernobyl photo was a troll. It was late and I was feeling trolly.

(nuke radiographer, former staff at NPTU Charleston)

Except they have proper shields (those aren't ordinary walls around the x-ray rooms and while there might be openings the operators make sure nobody is in the path of the opening before pushing the button) and wear dosimeters.

The nude-o-scopes have no shields. The operators have no dosimeters. By the TSAs data spending all your working hours next to one gives you the yearly dose limit for a radiation worker--and in 5 years of that you'll hit the lifetime limit and never be allowed to work around radiation, period.


I know the TSA says they stay at or below the yearly limit for dosimetry to be required, but it still seems sketchy to me. How far away are they standing? How long a shift? Is this standardized between airports or even between gates? What about the above mentioned software/hardware errors? (yes, that still happens sometimes even with medical x-ray gear)

Reminds me of how the US Navy says their reactors don't expose the personnel to neutron radiation, but then they don't monitor for neutron exposure even though dosimeters that detect neutron are commonly available. (We used them as radiographers, but the 08 guys didn't)
 
2010-11-25 10:28:19 AM  
Luse: In conclusion. Whereas the claim is that the amount of energy these xrays are exerting is minimal compared to a medical xray, the issue is, in a medical xray, much of the energy is actually piercing the body, and not being absorbed by it, ie, armor piercer. In the backscatter, your body is absorbing most of what's being fired, ie, hollow point. Your skin, and immediately underlying tissues, eyes, testes, etc. are not happy about this.

No that's not it either. 'Normal' medical x-rays are certainly absorbed in large amounts, that's how you get a negative on film - some makes it through less dense tissue, and much is absorbed by the bones and tissues. Technicians stand away because of backscatter actually, some of those x-rays bounce off and around, and that's why you wear an apron to lower overall absorbed dose.

Backscatter machines, are to take advantage of this low power backscatter and compute where and what they bounced off of. You need very little x-ray energy to accomplish this, though what doesn't scatter, and is absorbed, is by the skin. This is still a very small amount though, far less than what you would get next to a mountain or even on the flight itself.

I don't think a properly functioning machine is unsafe, but questions regarding the machine's design should be answered should it not be functioning correctly, what hardware interlocks are in place to prevent any abnormal dose. This would be the same question for millimeter wave machines as well.
 
2010-11-25 10:49:42 AM  
TheDirtyNacho: Luse: In conclusion. Whereas the claim is that the amount of energy these xrays are exerting is minimal compared to a medical xray, the issue is, in a medical xray, much of the energy is actually piercing the body, and not being absorbed by it, ie, armor piercer. In the backscatter, your body is absorbing most of what's being fired, ie, hollow point. Your skin, and immediately underlying tissues, eyes, testes, etc. are not happy about this.

No that's not it either. 'Normal' medical x-rays are certainly absorbed in large amounts, that's how you get a negative on film - some makes it through less dense tissue, and much is absorbed by the bones and tissues. Technicians stand away because of backscatter actually, some of those x-rays bounce off and around, and that's why you wear an apron to lower overall absorbed dose.

Backscatter machines, are to take advantage of this low power backscatter and compute where and what they bounced off of. You need very little x-ray energy to accomplish this, though what doesn't scatter, and is absorbed, is by the skin. This is still a very small amount though, far less than what you would get next to a mountain or even on the flight itself.

I don't think a properly functioning machine is unsafe, but questions regarding the machine's design should be answered should it not be functioning correctly, what hardware interlocks are in place to prevent any abnormal dose. This would be the same question for millimeter wave machines as well.


I admit, it was a very crude analogy, and admittedly I'm not an expert, just an interested amateur. Thanks for the clarification.
The thing that concerns me is the lack of any sort of real data regarding these machines, other than "It's safe."
The other of course is a poorly trained operator at the controls.
Are adjustments possible to account for children, adults, the obese etc?
If so, what is the maximum possible setting? I'm sorry, call me a skeptic but I do NOT trust the average TSA employee to make the proper adjustment calls.
These folks are the same ones who have already shown a profound lack of professionalism through leaking images, ignoring medical conditions and ridiculing already humiliated travelers.
Added to this the multitude of experts also expressing concerns, my friends in the field doing the same.

Not to mention the fact that all of this provides incredibly little to no additional security.
 
2010-11-25 11:08:10 AM  
tonguedepressor: ...or about the equivalent of breathing in second hand seal flatulence

Gat dang socialist pure research, why do we know this??
 
2010-11-25 11:11:55 AM  
They aren't scanning all 532 million people.

I'll guess it's closer to 1 in 50 scanned, so, there is a chance that 1 person will get cancer from these things.
 
2010-11-25 12:42:46 PM  
A hundred years from now people will be looking at what the TSA is doing in much in the same way what Marie Curie's workers were doing with radiation.
 
2010-11-25 12:48:28 PM  
Michael Chertoff thanks you all for your generous contribution to his personal wealth. He has no conflict taking your money.

Has the whole country gone brain dead?

Hunt the war profiteer Chertoff with dogs.

The Federal approved dose of radiation deemed safe is ,,, ZERO.
Now, TSA states the laws of physics are repealed in the name of security and it is Just Allright.

This absurd waste of money and abrogation of common sense is Security Theatre at it's worst and it is bad for you.
 
2010-11-25 01:01:03 PM  
ThisNameSux: meintx2001: Ok, so if the TSA people are just standing around and getting multiple does every shift how soon before they start dropping like flies from Cancer?

3 weeks if Farkers are to be believed.


Go ahead, laugh.
When these TSOs start suing and winning for every farking thing from warts to cancer and YOU THE TAXPAYER(not just the stupid flyiers) are paying for their support, you may lose that laughing feeling.
Every safety procedure for xray use is being ignored and deliberately avoided. This will end very well indeed.

This is monsterously irresponsible and will bite all Taxpayers in the ass.

Oh, you are right, they are patriots and will not exercise their litigation rights when they get sick and fired.
Never mind
 
2010-11-25 05:46:16 PM  
greywolf: I have been a trainer on devices such as they use at airports to screen baggage and detect metal etc.

Radiation from these devices is INDISTINGUISHABLE from background radiation.

The TSA agents "not being allowed" to wear dosimeters would be illegal. HOWEVER, TSA agents don't wear dosimeters because they DON'T HAVE TO, because the amount of radiation they're exposed to from these machines is so ridiculously low that they'd have to explicitly flaunt the safety measures--for a number of years--to get a sufficient accumulation to cause noticeable changes in the blood chemistry, which is the typically the first sign of radiation poisoning.


I have read that there are experts who disagree about the safety of back-scatter x-rays. So far, there have been no long-term studies. What are the health risks associated with dogs and chemical sniffers? It seems like dogs have been around a long time. Why not use them?
 
2010-11-26 06:50:20 PM  
Aunt Crabby: greywolf: I have been a trainer on devices such as they use at airports to screen baggage and detect metal etc.

Radiation from these devices is INDISTINGUISHABLE from background radiation.

The TSA agents "not being allowed" to wear dosimeters would be illegal. HOWEVER, TSA agents don't wear dosimeters because they DON'T HAVE TO, because the amount of radiation they're exposed to from these machines is so ridiculously low that they'd have to explicitly flaunt the safety measures--for a number of years--to get a sufficient accumulation to cause noticeable changes in the blood chemistry, which is the typically the first sign of radiation poisoning.

I have read that there are experts who disagree about the safety of back-scatter x-rays. So far, there have been no long-term studies. What are the health risks associated with dogs and chemical sniffers? It seems like dogs have been around a long time. Why not use them?


Michael Chertoff does not sell dogs.
He sells scanners.
 
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