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How X-Ray Scanners Became Mandatory In US Airports 264

Posted by Soulskill
from the slowly-but-surly dept.
OverTheGeicoE writes "ProPublica has a story on how x-ray scanners became the controversial yet mandatory security fixtures we in the US must now endure. The story title, 'U.S. Government Glossed Over Cancer Concerns As It Rolled Out Airport X-Ray Scanners,' summarizes a substantial part of the article, but not all of it. The story also describes how government attitudes about the scanners went from overwhelmingly negative in the early 1990s to the naive optimism we see today. How did this change occur? The government weakened its regulatory structure for radiation safety in electronic devices, and left defining safety standards to an ANSI committee dominated by scanner producers and users (prison and customs officials). Even after 9/11 there was still great mistrust of x-ray scanners, but nine years of lobbying from scanner manufacturers, panic over failed terrorist attacks, and pressure from legislators advancing businesses in their own districts eventually forced the devices into the airports. The article estimates that 6 to 100 cancers per year will be caused by the x-ray scanners."
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How X-Ray Scanners Became Mandatory In US Airports

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  • by OzPeter (195038) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @08:50AM (#37918678)

    That's why El-Al asks if you if you have any sort of stuff carried on anyone else's behalf, and if you do, they check all your stuff.

    Whenever I get asked the question "Has your luggage been out of your sight for any length of time or handled by other people" I really have to bite my tongue to stop saying "Yes .. the taxi driver loaded/unloaded my luggage and I haven't seen it for the last hour or so" .. That would be the honest answer, but unfortunately that would be the wrong way to answer.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @10:05AM (#37919708)

    Those who are afraid to smoke crack are effectively ruled by crack.

    Those who are afraid to shove a red hot poker up there arses are effectively ruled by red hot pokers up their arses

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @10:32AM (#37920052)

    Whenever I get asked the question "Has your luggage been out of your sight for any length of time or handled by other people" I really have to bite my tongue to stop saying "Yes .. the taxi driver loaded/unloaded my luggage and I haven't seen it for the last hour or so" .. That would be the honest answer, but unfortunately that would be the wrong way to answer.

    Check out this story [telegraph.co.uk] It's about dwarves being put in suitcases and smuggled into coach holds to steal from other passengers cases during the journey.

    What's to stop one putting a little something extra in one of the cases?

    My luggage doesn't leave my sight until it's checked in. Ever.

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