Airport Scanner Exposure

Our life is full of exposure to hazards to our health and well-being, from the chemicals found in our personal grooming products, sometimes in our food, and all around us in our environment. We are also exposed to common forms of electromagnetic radiation such as what we get from Wi-Fi signals and airport body scanners.

-Electromagnetic fields emanate from cell phones, Wi-Fi and other electronic devices. Continual exposure to electromagnetic radiation affects our wellness, causing what has been termed as Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) and occurs when certain symptoms appear such as headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, short-term memory problems, insomnia, skin rashes, tinnitus, nausea and dizziness, and perhaps others.

However, research to date has not established any clear-cut scientific evidence demonstrating that electromagnetic fields are directly responsible for any of these adverse affects on our wellness, including cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) EHS has “no clear diagnostic criteria and there is no scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure. Further, EHS is not a medical diagnosis, nor is it clear that it represents a single medical problem. Some say that ongoing research may eventually demonstrate a scientific basis for EHS, but we’re not there yet.

Radiation is Found Everywhere in Our Environment

While panic mounts worldwide about exposure to radiation coming from the Japanese power plant plumes, an immediate source of radiation has some concerned: full-body airport scanners. Some experts have worried about this radiation from the start.

There has been much controversy and debate over the use of full-body X-ray scanners at U.S. airports. How risky are they to our health and well-being? What do we know about radiation exposure and how much is too much?

 Exposure is Constant

Our bodies are continually exposed to small amounts of radiation. Radiation is found everywhere in our environment. Uranium, thorium and radium emit it naturally from the earth’s soil. We find radiation in heat, light and microwaves, this type of exposure is generally not considered a health concern. As a matter of fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80 percent of human exposure comes from the earth’s natural resources, only 20 percent is manufactured: mainly form X-rays.

The overall consensus in the scientific community is that these everyday exposures are not harmful. However, what about the future of full-body scanning at airports?

Molecular-Level Full-body Scanners

According to a report by, the government has subcontracted, through the Department of Homeland Security, with Genia Photonics, a company that has acquired 30 patents relating to molecular-level scanners ­ machines that will be capable of scanning every single molecule in your body. It is reportedly 10 million times faster and a million times more sensitive than the scanners currently in use by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and at our ports of entry. Perhaps we need to question whether airport security would really need this kind of full-body scanning equipment. The prospect of radiation exposure on a molecular-level has to raise many questions regarding the affects of this on the body. scanner line

A single full-body scanning with current devices in use, according to the manufacturers, involves exposure to 10 micrograms of radiation, an insignificant amount, if it is correct. Your cumulative amount of exposure from 30 hours of air travel is equal to that of a single chest X-ray.

Testing Shows Levels to be Below Standards

Last year, the scanners underwent more than 700 inspections with all tests showing the radiation levels below standards used by their manufacturer and the TSA, according to a USA TODAY review of the recently released reports. The first report, from David A. Schauer, who directs the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, is that he thinks that risks are minimal. We are exposed to much more radiation during routine medical exams. Then again, if we think of frequent fliers, getting a medical exam 3 or 4 times a week is hardly likely. You are free to decline its use and settle for the patting down by security. You are free to choose what you believe is the healthiest for your well-being.

Published by Axiom Health Care Marketing