TSA: Study on X-Ray Scanners Will Validate Machines are Safe

TSA head John Pistole told CNN that a soon-to-be released study done by the inspector general’s office will show that the X-ray machines currently in use at airports across the country to detect explosives and other anomalies will validate earlier studies that the machines are safe to use.

Disagreements Over Safety of X-Ray Machines

Not everyone agrees the machines are safe. In fact, health concerns over the amount of radiation emitted by these scanners, while extremely low, raised enough questions in the minds of EU authorities to prompt a ban on these devices in Europe.

See why the EU banned X-ray machines in European airports

Pistole, however, said he had “no concerns about the safety of the machines” and suggested the inspector general’s report may mean an independent study is no longer needed.

Two Kinds of Body Scanners Used in U.S.

There are approximately 250 of the X-ray machines currently in use in U.S. airports, as well as another 260 millimeter wave machines which perform the same function, without X-rays.

At least one member of Congress is still pushing for an independent review of the machines. Rep. Susan Collins of Maine says she still has concerns, for passengers and the TSA screeners who operate the machines.


Published: November 17, 2011