Just Say NO to Airport X-ray

Old policies that allow the traveling population to be subject to greater exposure of ionizing, non-diagnostic x-ray will lead to greater incidence of thyroid disease, and greater burden on the health care system of this country. Ultimately it also means more money out of your hands, and into the hands of the manufacturers of these airport x-ray scanners, the pharmaceutical giants, and the insurance companies who will raise their "affordable care" rates again with the excuse of greater disease incidence. None of these entities care that your long-term health is at risk, proportionately with greater x-ray exposure.
Do you remember the last time you got x-rays at the dentist? They likely used a "thyroid shield" as an addition to the lead apron they put on you, in an attempt to block any scatter radiation from reaching your thyroid gland in your neck. Scatter radiation is often labeled as "harmless," yet they use a shield for this at the dentist's office. Why? The reason is that the thyroid is one of the most vulnerable tissues in your body. Other radiosensitive tissues include the eyes, breasts, and gonads. Ionizing radiation is a known cause of breast cancer.
Have you also noticed that any time a person takes your x-ray, they leave the room? Guess why. It is to reduce their exposure to scatter radiation.
Cumulative scatter radiation is unhealthful. This is a fact. It is not at all comparable to ultraviolet radiation, that you experience every time you go out into the sun, or fly in a plane. X-radiation is classified as ionizing radiation, while ultraviolet radiation is NOT. When they tell you your exposure from scatter radiation from each scan (classified as ionizing radiation) is less than your exposure to "background" radiation (including aspects from ultraviolet radiation that are NOT a type of ionizing radiation), they are comparing apples to oranges; x-rays to daylight. It is an intellectually dishonest comparison. Sunlight is not ionizing radiation. 

"Cumulative scatter radiation is unhealthful. This is a fact." 

The effects of x-ray exposure are not immediately measurable. The wrong question to ask is if one scan has been shown to be "harmful." There is no short-term way to measure the long-term cumulative effects. The question: "Is it harmful?" only considers the short term effect, which cannot be measured, and is therefore a foolish, misleading question. Every time this obnoxious question is asked, the wrong issue is addressed and the confused public continues to line-up at the airport for another dose of harmful ionizing scatter radiation.
The real issue is the long-term effects of large populations being exposed to non-diagnostic ionizing radiation, and the disaster it poses for our own health and our whole healthcare system. We have already commenced this disaster a few years ago, by this short-sighted and dangerous policy.
Problems with your thyroid can lead to brain degeneration, leaky gut and irritable bowel syndrome, weakness, chronic fatigue, brain fog, hormonal imbalance, autoimmunity, autoimmune disease, bone loss, environmental sensitivities, allergies, constipation... the list goes on! What's almost as bad, is that most doctors will not know how to functionally address the thyroid and its associated problems, in a meaningful way, but instead will wait until thyroid blood tests show a clear hypothyroid profile. Thyroid problems may take a minimum of three years to be diagnosable. All the while your thyroid is being destroyed by autoimmune disease. Not good! Until their diagnosis finally comes, you would remain in thyroid limbo. At my office in Beverly Hills, CA we see people with undiscovered thyroid problems all the time. You have to seek the alternatives that are available.

Dr LiebermanYour health is at risk. We have to reject this type of security screening now, before it leads to the further degeneration of our health, and its tremendous repercussions on the American healthcare system.

Yes, you have the right to refuse the airport x-ray scan. How? When you are in line, tell the TSA: "I prefer to get the Pat-Down," NOT the x-ray. It's really as simple as that. You're not a criminal, and this is still America. They can't force this on you.

By now, many airports, like LAX in Los Angeles, have replaced these dangerous scatter x-ray scanners with milimeter wave technology. This is not ionizing radiation, so it should not pose the risks of x-ray scatter.
You should support the discontinuation of all non-diagnostic ionizing radiation at airports, due to the long term dangers of this type of radiation exposure to large populations of people.
Dr. Barry J. Lieberman, D.C.,  Beverly Hills, California               Next more
Call 310-282-8882 to make an appointment with Dr. Lieberman

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Some Comments from others:

From the beginning of my x-ray physics classes, our instructor stressed upon us time and time again one lesson: Scatter is bad. ...
A backscatter x-ray machine uses low energy photons to create an image. This is the stuff I've been trained to avoid. I'm afraid that if I have to fly, I'm going to opt out. I have no idea how millimeter wave radar gets it images. I'm curious to find out.
- Judo, Mobile X-ray Tech

IMO there is no justificaton for exposing individuals to ionizating radiation when an equally effective non-ionizating radiation method exists for explosives and firearm detection.

... most radiation experts recommend minimizing exposure to x-rays and other ionizing radiations.

The mm-wave or terrahertz body scanners do not use ionizing radiation, and indeed the wavelength of the radiation is longer than heat. It causes no adverse biological effects, but is equally effective in detecting guns and hidden explosives... the general public should insist on the use of safe body scanners, not ones that generate ionizing radiation.

The images are equally good, so why expose the public to ionizing radiation, and .., [why] expose the TSA screeners to them?

-Bob, Principal Scientist at Physical Sciences Inc.

Possible reasons:

1. Because these were cheaper.
2. Because the manufacturer made significant contributions to prominent Congressional committee members that oversaw the selection of scanners to be installed.
3. Because the manufacturer influenced the TSA administrator that oversaw the selection of scanners to be installed with dinners, professional sport game tickets, spousal employment, etc.

Take your pick. By the time the bad side effects are proven and accepted by the FDA, CDC, Surgeon General's office, FAA, etc. the "prominent Congressional committee members" and the "TSA administrator" will long be dead.

I'll add a #4 to Randy's list:

#4: The decision maker was not qualified to make the decision.

I have seen way too many people make major decisions without the proper training or qualifications. If you don't have enough background, all you can believe is sales hype. However if the same products were presented to Judo or Bob, they would see right through to the core issue. It could be #1-#3, but #4 is also too prevalent.

(Re: #4) Ding! Ding! Ding!

We have a winner here. We can see that no person with medical or X-ray knowledge would have made this decision. On the technology side we often see congressional decisions that no rational person with an engineering background would make. ... 95% of all congresscritters are all lawyers.

As always, follow the money.

"News" and media misinformation touting airport x-ray scanners "safety" is misleading!

Jun 9, 2017 (updated) - originally posted: Nov. 23, 2010
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Why You should REJECT "Routine" NON-Diagnostic X-ray