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(Slashdot)   So about those Perfectly Safe (TM) backscatter machines that keep us safe from terrorists... funny but people working with them are coming down with cancer   (news.slashdot.org) divider line 366
    More: Asinine  
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23851 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jun 2011 at 2:38 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-06-28 02:54:28 PM  

tricycleracer: GAT_00: But, but, tiny radiation doses aren't bad!

But that's what the nuclear power apologists tell me in every Fukushima thread!


And they aren't

/Tiny, continuous doses on the other hand
//Do the TSA wear those dose meters that workers in other fields working with ionizing radiation have to wear?
 
2011-06-28 02:55:12 PM  
Also, how many bananas are in one scan?
 
2011-06-28 02:55:31 PM  
Playing with an xray machine all day every day can give you cancer? Damn my penchant for collecting antiquated hospital equipment!
 
2011-06-28 02:55:37 PM  

AntiNorm: probesport: Medically valid to those who weren't capable of becoming an actual doctor isn't much of an argument.

It is deemed valid by someone with a medical license (i.e. a dentist).


lulz.
 
2011-06-28 02:55:39 PM  

I_C_Weener: Because it's a different kind of xray.


Glad I'm not the only one who thought of this.
 
2011-06-28 02:55:48 PM  
It's nice to know that TSA workers are also medical doctors specializing in oncology. Their paper in JAMA documenting the cancer cluster should be topnotch.
 
2011-06-28 02:55:48 PM  

Soumac: /flies every week
//always opts out


Im not. This violates my rights. This is a TSA total sexual assault. I am being search without a warrant and these arent even LEOs, they are losers who are sexual deviants who are barely trained. They are dangerous as they are a false sense of security.

Both the groping and the porno machines are a radical violation of rights by government.
 
2011-06-28 02:55:51 PM  
Off topic- what do farkers think of cell towers at elementary schools? Risk or not?
 
2011-06-28 02:56:38 PM  

the_sidewinder: //Do the TSA wear those dose meters that workers in other fields working with ionizing radiation have to wear?


IIRC the TSA forbids them from doing so.
 
2011-06-28 02:56:47 PM  
i950.photobucket.com
 
2011-06-28 02:56:50 PM  

the_sidewinder: Also, how many bananas are in one scan?


I opt for the manual banana scan, so, one.
 
2011-06-28 02:56:58 PM  

weatherwitch666: Because it's a different kind of xray


It's not though. The radiation coming from x-ray backscatter machines is still x-rays and still ionizing radiation. It's less x-rays than are used in penetrative imaging. And it's maybe even less energetic x-rays (i.e. lower frequency), depending on what you're comparing it to. But they're not fundamentally different that what you get with a chest x-ray.
 
2011-06-28 02:57:08 PM  
Yeah, haven't been to an airport since all of this crap started getting out of hand (and I'm talking the no water-bottles thingy). Unless they get their shiat together I will not be flying any place. Absolutely no desire.
 
2011-06-28 02:57:20 PM  

ck819: Off topic- what do farkers think of cell towers at elementary schools? Risk or not?


I'd rather see some valid data rather then read the speculation of laymen.
 
2011-06-28 02:57:25 PM  
farm1.static.flickr.com

Oh, and this... Perfectly safe, I assure you.
 
2011-06-28 02:57:34 PM  
This just in! Energetic particles tend to bounce around and break things...like DNA.
 
2011-06-28 02:57:39 PM  

GAT_00: But, but, tiny radiation doses aren't bad!


They aren't.

The problem with these machines is that their design and maintenance is considered secret so there's no public oversight. We don't know how much radiation these machines are supposed to emit and we don't know how much radiation they actually emit. Otherwise, you know, the terrorists will win.

But hey, if you're convinced that prolonged exposure to low-level radiation is as dangerous is you say it is, then there's probably lots of studies showing cancer clusters in nuclear workers, airline employees, and mine workers, right? Should be easy to find.
 
2011-06-28 02:57:45 PM  
TSA wouldn't even let their workers wear a dosimeter.

This is a class action suit waiting to happen.

/feel sorry for the little worker bee
 
2011-06-28 02:57:46 PM  

tricycleracer: the_sidewinder: Also, how many bananas are in one scan?

I opt for the manual banana scan, so, one.


There's always money in the banana scan.
 
2011-06-28 02:57:50 PM  
Overall couldn't happen to a nicer group of people. Hopefully the TSA leadership gets good and fried as well.

Only guy I felt sympathy for was the 20 something who admitted to me he'd made some mistakes in life and was working night shift TSA to pay for tuition. He gave a real quick pat down and was apologetic over the absurdity of security theater.
 
2011-06-28 02:57:57 PM  
How long until they're hiring? I'm old. I can try and be a jerk. I wouldn't mind running the cuties through the Peepmaster 2000.
 
2011-06-28 02:58:03 PM  
Everyday, I regret going through those two full body scanners when I was 7 months pregnant. I was tired from a long international flight and walking through the terminal with my overpacked bag. It's no excuse, because I knew that I shouldn't have done it.

My child was born with a huge brown 'spot' on her forehead. It's cute, but we have to monitor it very closely for growth. It's a precautionary measure. I can't help but feel that if I had not expose her to so much radiation, then maybe she wouldn't have to spend the rest of her life monitoring a spot.

/not AW'ing
//just venting
 
PJ-
2011-06-28 02:58:22 PM  

wildcardjack: Thousands Standing Around....

What's going to happen to transport when people with GED's won't work for $10/hr plus tips? Will wages go up or will standards go down?


Both
 
2011-06-28 02:58:44 PM  
I have to take a short red eye flight tomorrow. If I had extra time, I might have worn a shirt with something snarky against the TSA on it. Given my luck, they'd probably detain me overnight though.

I will opt out of the scanner though. Better take a chance on an STD than cancer.
 
2011-06-28 02:58:56 PM  

the_sidewinder: Do the TSA wear those dose meters that workers in other fields working with ionizing radiation have to wear?


They're actually forbidden from wearing dosimeters, even if they provide their own.

Which is just one of the many reasons you can't trust the machines -- even if they are normally safe they are potentially dangerous and the TSA has no safety controls.
 
2011-06-28 02:59:08 PM  

ck819: Off topic- what do farkers think of cell towers at elementary schools? Risk or not?


Not a risk, but I don't see why you'd want to give those kids such good reception. Put on on my building instead

/Or inside all IKEAs
//Damn buildings are built like Faraday cages
 
2011-06-28 02:59:52 PM  

zeio: Im not. This violates my rights. This is a TSA total sexual assault. I am being search without a warrant and these arent even LEOs, they are losers who are sexual deviants who are barely trained. They are dangerous as they are a false sense of security.

Both the groping and the porno machines are a radical violation of rights by government.


As annoying as I find the TSA, it's not like you have to fly. It's annoying and I'll even agree they're overstepping their bounds, but I don't know if I'd go so far as a "radical violation of rights".

Personally, I'd prefer it if the different airlines became responsible for maintaining their own security.
 
2011-06-28 03:00:12 PM  
For great safety!!
 
2011-06-28 03:02:22 PM  
I fly weekly also, and opt out every time. The patdowns are harmless, my crotch has never been grabbed.
I did have to make a lot of noise last week in San Diego when I opted out and had to tell them to immediately gather my belongings that were sent on the conveyor belt. It had my wallet there, they got everything right away.

And always ask for clean gloves. You shouldn't have to, they swab them and check for explosives.
 
2011-06-28 03:02:34 PM  

Slu: I am glad that when my wife was pregnant I asked her to opt out. She doesn't keep up on this type of stuff so she probably would have gone through and turned our baby into a mutant. Or a super hero. On second thought...

RexTalionis: Soumac: /flies every week
//always opts out

From what I hear, the backscatter machines aren't really shielded properly, either, so the people standing in line waiting to go through the machines are getting exposed (although, logically, much less than the person standing in the scanning area).


The up side is that it isn't the PASSENGERS who are getting farked for eight hours straight. When the TSA thugs can read in bed without the lights on, from the soft green glow of their genitals... I don't see them wearing any protection, so they get toasted. Poetic justice.

I suppose, however, that their brand new federal employees union will sue the feds, and we get another few thousand on SSI. It's nice that we can afford it from the SSI lockbox, the one the Libs keep talking about. Remember, the federal government is NOT broke. Just ask any progressive.

(We are SO farked...)

 
2011-06-28 03:03:23 PM  
I wish I had the article to cite, but I recall a statistic estimating the chance of contracting cancer due to one of these is about 1 in 11 million. Now when you have over 600 million passengers last year in the US. Some people will likely be getting cancer as a direct result from these machines. I really wish I had that article, I'll still opt for patdowns even if I don't find it again =/
 
2011-06-28 03:04:31 PM  

Wellon Dowd: ck819: Off topic- what do farkers think of cell towers at elementary schools? Risk or not?

I'd rather see some valid data rather then read the speculation of laymen.


Having been a comms tech for a good part of my life, I can tell you that when you have to cordon off a good chunk of space as "no entry" to keep people from becoming microwave dinners, there's probably nothing good coming from getting too close to high-power radio waves.

No hard data on DNA damage, but I figure if it can cook you, it can probably do other things too.

/once saw a squirrel cross the dish...the results were aromatic
 
2011-06-28 03:04:35 PM  

cherryl taggart: Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people.


It's too bad that the politicians actually making these decisions, as well as those profiting off of these machines will very likely never have to go anywhere near them when they board their personal or chartered planes.
 
2011-06-28 03:04:59 PM  

profplump: The real safety problem is not that they're emitting x-rays, it's that they're not using appropriate controls on processes and equipment that emit x-rays. Dosage monitoring, periodic calibration, training in radiation safety, etc. should all be part of the package, but the TSA isn't doing any of that. We require grocery stores to calibrate their scales, and factories to provide safety guards and training for mechanical equipment, but for some reason the TSA doesn't have to test or monitor or train for the invisible death-ray penis-viewing machines.


they very well may be safe, or at least designed to be safe, but until they are monitored and serviced witht he records fo it made public and the person who does it held publicly accountable I won't be steping into one.
 
2011-06-28 03:05:20 PM  

profplump: They're actually forbidden from wearing dosimeters, even if they provide their own.

Which is just one of the many reasons you can't trust the machines -- even if they are normally safe they are potentially dangerous and the TSA has no safety controls.


Do you know if a passenger would be permitted to wear one or operate a Geiger counter near the checkpoint?
 
2011-06-28 03:05:33 PM  

profplump: the_sidewinder: Do the TSA wear those dose meters that workers in other fields working with ionizing radiation have to wear?

They're actually forbidden from wearing dosimeters, even if they provide their own.

Which is just one of the many reasons you can't trust the machines -- even if they are normally safe they are potentially dangerous and the TSA has no safety controls.


This is counter to every other industry that has any other type of ionizing radiation exposure. You have to wonder what is up with it.
I was initially doubtful myself because its not like these machines have been widespread for such a long time as to result in a cancer cluster already. Usually unless there is a relatively large exposure it takes many years for cancer clusters to be detected. Given the small doses involved it shouldn't be a result.

That being said theres a lot of fishy things going on.
1) No calibration. - These things do leak radiation. Everything with radiation leaks. Nothing is perfectly shielded. It would normally be critical to know how much is being emitted at all times. Then you would know if there is a significant risk of workplace exposure as well as being able to know if the machine is malfunctioning.
2) No dosimetry. Thats just weird. Does not make sense. The general rule is you work with radiation you get a rad badge. They aren't that expensive...
fishy fishy fishy.
 
2011-06-28 03:05:53 PM  
There was a story a week or two back about the future being mandatory passage through tunnels that automatically do backscatter scans.

I was against it because I felt that the risk of radiation exposure for frequent-flyers was too high. Now I feel sad because I was right, but they'll make us walk through those things anyways unless someone actually gets up in arms for once. But it will take cancer clusters in flyers before that happens, and that's rather hard to track, if not impossible outside of longterm studies.
 
2011-06-28 03:06:19 PM  
I'm flying cross-country in just over a week for the first time since they implemented these things. Hoping against hope that I don't get chosen for the extra "security." Hmmm, my choices are a radiation-producing machine that basically gives them a picture of me naked, or having my chest groped by a complete stranger? Gee, I feel SO much safer now!

/if I have to choose, I'll take the pat-down
//but I won't be happy about it
 
2011-06-28 03:06:35 PM  
Just get rid of these scanners. Enhanced patdowns Fondling for everyone!

EuphoniumEuphoria
Everyday, I regret going through those two full body scanners when I was 7 months pregnant. I was tired from a long international flight and walking through the terminal with my overpacked bag. It's no excuse, because I knew that I shouldn't have done it.

My child was born with a huge brown 'spot' on her forehead. It's cute, but we have to monitor it very closely for growth. It's a precautionary measure. I can't help but feel that if I had not expose her to so much radiation, then maybe she wouldn't have to spend the rest of her life monitoring a spot.

/not AW'ing
//just venting


Okay, but it's extremely unlikely that there's any relation between the two.
 
2011-06-28 03:06:35 PM  
Dear TSA,

Remember how, when I griped that your nude-o-scope machines and junk fondling violated my rights, you guys were all like, "No way, PCoC. You implicitly agreed to those searches when you bought your airline ticket. And after all, you don't have to fly anywhere. Flying isn't a right, after all, and there's still other transportation methods. And besides, isn't it worth it, giving up some stuff in order to be safer?" Remember that? Good times, good times.

Anyway, now that you're griping about how it's totally unfair that you might be getting cancer from standing around those nude-o-scope machines all day, I just wanted to tell you this: Too farkin' bad. You implicitly agreed to stand around potentially dangerous, untested scanning equipment when you signed up to wear the snazzy blue uniform and the little tin badge. And it's not like anyone's forcing you to work for the TSA. There's plenty of other jobs out there. And in the end, isn't it worth it, giving up a little of your life to cancer, so that we can be "safer"?

Sincerely yours,
PCoC
 
2011-06-28 03:06:43 PM  
imgs.xkcd.com
 
2011-06-28 03:08:10 PM  
i141.photobucket.com


i141.photobucket.com
 
2011-06-28 03:08:41 PM  

Wicked Chinchilla: This is counter to every other industry that has any other type of ionizing radiation exposure. You have to wonder what is up with it.
I was initially doubtful myself because its not like these machines have been widespread for such a long time as to result in a cancer cluster already. Usually unless there is a relatively large exposure it takes many years for cancer clusters to be detected. Given the small doses involved it shouldn't be a result.


Honestly I think the problem is cost. It's just one more asinine part of security theater: do just enough to make it look like you're doing something, but don't feel like you have to splurge on doing it right.
 
2011-06-28 03:08:41 PM  

patrick767: Just get rid of these scanners. Enhanced patdowns Fondling for everyone!

EuphoniumEuphoria
Everyday, I regret going through those two full body scanners when I was 7 months pregnant. I was tired from a long international flight and walking through the terminal with my overpacked bag. It's no excuse, because I knew that I shouldn't have done it.

My child was born with a huge brown 'spot' on her forehead. It's cute, but we have to monitor it very closely for growth. It's a precautionary measure. I can't help but feel that if I had not expose her to so much radiation, then maybe she wouldn't have to spend the rest of her life monitoring a spot.

/not AW'ing
//just venting

Okay, but it's extremely unlikely that there's any relation between the two.


I know that it is extremely unlikely. I just worry.
 
2011-06-28 03:08:49 PM  

probesport: AntiNorm: probesport: Medically valid to those who weren't capable of becoming an actual doctor isn't much of an argument.

It is deemed valid by someone with a medical license (i.e. a dentist).

lulz.


What's "lulz" about this? You don't think the ADAs credentialing and accreditation process is valueless, and they cannot bestow a legitimate medical license?

Also, you may want to check your definition of "doctor" and "dentist" because dentists ARE doctors. They are also physicians, if you want to attempt to semantically weasel out of that one too. If you want to claim that they aren't "MDs" well, you'd be correct, but the notion that medical advice or a plan of care can only be valid if you have an MD...

You know what? I just realized I'm wasting my time arguing with either a troll, or someone so dense that my refutation of their "point" if it could even be called as much, it will fall on deaf ears.
 
2011-06-28 03:09:04 PM  
Ok...now I'm confused...
Am I supposed to hate the TSA, or feel sorry for the TSA?

Or maybe it's both?
 
2011-06-28 03:09:32 PM  

CapeFearCadaver: Yeah, haven't been to an airport since all of this crap started getting out of hand (and I'm talking the no water-bottles thingy). Unless they get their shiat together I will not be flying any place. Absolutely no desire.


There is no escaping.
Surprise! TSA Is Searching Your Car, Subway, Ferry, Bus, AND Plane (new window)
 
2011-06-28 03:09:51 PM  

palelizard: As annoying as I find the TSA, it's not like you have to fly.


Hey, you could WALK!
 
2011-06-28 03:09:54 PM  
The public reaction to the TSA makes me hate America.

Where was all the concern about our freedom when the Patriot act was passed? Or the DMCA? Or pardon for the Telcos?

Violate the privacy of millions of Americans? Woops.

Make Grandma change her diaper before going through security?
FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!111!!!!11!
 
2011-06-28 03:10:35 PM  

Prank Call of Cthulhu: Dear TSA,

Remember how, when I griped that your nude-o-scope machines and junk fondling violated my rights, you guys were all like, "No way, PCoC. You implicitly agreed to those searches when you bought your airline ticket. And after all, you don't have to fly anywhere. Flying isn't a right, after all, and there's still other transportation methods. And besides, isn't it worth it, giving up some stuff in order to be safer?" Remember that? Good times, good times.

Anyway, now that you're griping about how it's totally unfair that you might be getting cancer from standing around those nude-o-scope machines all day, I just wanted to tell you this: Too farkin' bad. You implicitly agreed to stand around potentially dangerous, untested scanning equipment when you signed up to wear the snazzy blue uniform and the little tin badge. And it's not like anyone's forcing you to work for the TSA. There's plenty of other jobs out there. And in the end, isn't it worth it, giving up a little of your life to cancer, so that we can be "safer"?

Sincerely yours,
PCoC


I will vote for you for whatever public office you'd like to hold.
 
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