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TSA Interested In Purchasing Dosimeters 117

OverTheGeicoE writes "TSA recently announced that it is looking for vendors of 'radiation measurement devices'. According to the agency's Request for Information, these devices 'will assist the TSA in determining if the Transportation Security Officers (TSO) at selected federalized airports are exposed to ionizing radiation above minimum detectable levels, and whether any measured radiation doses approach or exceed the threshold where personnel dosimetry monitoring is required by DHS/TSA policy.' A TSA spokeman claims that their RFI 'did not reflect any heightened concern by the agency about radiation levels that might be excessive or pose a risk to either TSA screeners or members of the traveling public.' Concern outside the agency, however, has always been high. TSA has long been criticized for its apparent lack of understanding of radiological safety, even for its own employees. There has been speculation of a cancer cluster, possibly caused by poor safety practices in baggage screening."
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TSA Interested In Purchasing Dosimeters

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  • Re:Karma? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cjb-nc ( 887319 ) on Saturday January 07, 2012 @09:39AM (#38621016)

    How exactly does proving that standing around a bunch of X-ray equipment causes radiation exposure hurt those whose policies put those people there in the first place? No karma. Not hardly. OSHA should have been all over this from day one, to protect these employees.

    I am a little disturbed they want to (appear to) do their own testing in this manner. I seriously doubt we'll see honest results out of the TSA management. Once again, OSHA needs to run this. Self-reporting will only toe the party line, that the machines are perfectly safe.

  • Re:Karma? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Saturday January 07, 2012 @09:47AM (#38621056) Homepage

    Yep. They'll just go back and ask for more "emergency funding" to replace all the machines with more expensive ones.

    Even if the dosage is 'safe', the chances of it giving you cancer are still HIGHER than those of being blown up by a terrorist. Just saying.

  • Re:Good. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 07, 2012 @09:48AM (#38621064)
    What does this have to do with body scanners? You must realize that x-ray machines have been used for luggage and carry-on bags for years and years, and pre-date the TSA taking over operations. It is amazing that they were ever able to put them in place without requiring dosimeters badges for employees in case of leaks from the devices.
  • Re:really?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Saturday January 07, 2012 @09:52AM (#38621084)

    That way my point. Your oath to support and defend the Constitution should prohibit you from following orders for illegal searches.

  • No-bid contract? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zwede ( 1478355 ) on Saturday January 07, 2012 @11:44AM (#38621692)

    And this being the TSA I bet the dosimeters will be purchased under a no-bid contract from some politician's buddy at the low cost of $100,000 each.

  • Forget the bureaucrats, the people to talk to about this are the TSA workers doing the screenings, since they're the ones (a) making minimum wage; and (b) facing death from cancer. When you fly, opt out of the scanner and request a groping, and then talk to the TSA worker while they're feeling you up. Talk about the JHU cancer study; talk about the finding that the backscatter machines unzip DNA; talk about the fact that no one's wearing dosimeters; talk about the fact that many of the X-ray machines have been found to be leaky beyond manufacturer tolerance; talk about the fact that people excuse all this because the public is only exposed for a few seconds to a minute at a time, but no one ever thinks about the workers; talk about the fact that they should contact their union reps about OSHA regulations- except, oh, wait, they aren't allowed to form unions.

    If all of the employees are starting to raise a fuss and filing lawsuits, that'll get more traction than trying to lobby some senator who (i) flies on a private plane and bypasses security; and (ii) has several million dollars of stock invested in the companies that make the machines and gets campaign donations from their executives.

  • by justthinkit ( 954982 ) <floyd@just-think-it.com> on Saturday January 07, 2012 @01:29PM (#38622606) Homepage Journal
    This might be a great talking point for those flying the friendly skies: "Gee, I've heard you guys have to wear dosimeters now. Are they still trying to tell you it is safe for you to operate this 40 hours per week? I don't envy your situation...heh, are you guys unionized?"

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.