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flyingclrs727
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EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:47 pm

Here's a quote from Consumer Reports.


EU bans full-body X-ray scanners due to health concerns
Nov 16, 2011 1:30 PM

Full-body scanners that use X-ray technology for security screening purposes will be banned at Europe's airports because of radiation risks and concerns, said the European Union (EU) on Monday.

The scanners screen airline passengers for hidden explosive devices, hundreds of which were installed at airports across the United States after the failed Christmas Day attack in 2009 by the so-called "underwear bomber." Soon after the new full-body X-ray machines were unveiled, concerns were raised over the possible levels of radiation exposure during airport security checks.

http://news.consumerreports.org/mone...x-ray-scanners-at-eu-airports.html




[Edited 2011-12-01 09:54:20]
 
standby87
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:59 pm

The UK Government will not comply with this directive on the grounds of the "hightened security risk in the UK"

So the UK remains the only country in the world where playing conkers at school is banned for Health and Safety Reasons, yet giving full body X-Ray scans to young children by medically unqualified personnel is perfectly OK.

Anything else I write and I suspect the a.net crew will ban me for using swear words, so I will just say this is "fantastically" outrageous behaviour by UK Government. There was another f-word I could have used...
 
standby87
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:06 pm

Me again:

"The U.S. government has stated that the radiation emitted from those devices is minimal, equal to the natural exposure during 2 minutes of flying, though some research suggests it's higher."

The "equivalent" or "equal" Quantity of radiation is a misnomer!

I try and explain without using long words:

If you stand in a shower of 38 degree C water, it's very nice.
If I fire that same quantity of water at your skin at high pressure, it's most definitely not very nice!

And that's the "equivalent" to what is happening to "anyone who can walk" in the UK right now when they enter the Backscatter X-Ray machines at various airports.

Add in the fact that the machines have never been indendently tested and it beggars belief why the UK Government has given a December 2012 extension to those already installed at Manchester Airport.

Also, while I'm on the Soapbox, these machines would not detect Mr. Underpants travelling to Detroit on 1-way ticket with no coat or indeed any rectal material.
You don't want to imagine the results of that - but in fact the bottom has already been used by terrorists. Just don't Google for it at work else you will see worse than this:   

[Edited 2011-12-01 10:07:45]

[Edited 2011-12-01 10:08:52]
 
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par13del
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:17 pm

Quoting standby87 (Reply 2):

"The U.S. government has stated that the radiation emitted from those devices is minimal, equal to the natural exposure during 2 minutes of flying, though some research suggests it's higher."

Justification for the US government to deploy scanners in their country.
I admit that as a former colony they could be told what to do by the colonial master, but it seems as if the colonial master is once again being told what to do by someone else.

I suspect they are concerned about the amount of traffic going thru LHR to the US and whether the US will mandate screening of pax on arrival, the rest of Europe does not seem to fear such an outcome so I say go for it and let the Americans do what they deem is necessary on their side to protect their nation.

It would certainely show whether LHR is the end all for European travel to the US.
 
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airbuseric
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:22 pm

Good, so I wonder when AMS will remove these scanners which are fully in use for staff working at the airport, and also used at specific flights/departure gates. Can a passenger refuse to enter these scanners from now on? And, what will be the consequence. I never liked these kind of machines.
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
DLPMMM
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:33 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 3):
I suspect they are concerned about the amount of traffic going thru LHR to the US and whether the US will mandate screening of pax on arrival, the rest of Europe does not seem to fear such an outcome so I say go for it and let the Americans do what they deem is necessary on their side to protect their nation.

The USA already re-screens anyone continuing on a connceting flight, so your logic doesn't follow. It is an independent decision by the UK government and the USA doesn't really care one way or the other.
 
Glom
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:36 pm

Quoting standby87 (Reply 1):

The UK Government will not comply with this directive on the grounds of the "hightened security risk in the UK"

It's on this that the government chooses to defy the EU?

Quoting standby87 (Reply 1):
So the UK remains the only country in the world where playing conkers at school is banned for Health and Safety Reasons, yet giving full body X-Ray scans to young children by medically unqualified personnel is perfectly OK.

Ooh that's good. Makes it sound extra horrific.

Quoting par13del (Reply 3):
I suspect they are concerned about the amount of traffic going thru LHR to the US and whether the US will mandate screening of pax on arrival, the rest of Europe does not seem to fear such an outcome so I say go for it and let the Americans do what they deem is necessary on their side to protect their nation.

You mean customs?
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:51 pm

Quoting standby87 (Reply 1):
The UK Government will not comply with this directive on the grounds of the "hightened security risk in the UK"

So the UK remains the only country in the world where playing conkers at school is banned for Health and Safety Reasons, yet giving full body X-Ray scans to young children by medically unqualified personnel is perfectly OK.

Anything else I write and I suspect the a.net crew will ban me for using swear words, so I will just say this is "fantastically" outrageous behaviour by UK Government. There was another f-word I could have used...

They could easily switch to millimeter wave scanners, which are NOT being banned. The TSA should do the same by replacing all of their Rapiscan backscatter X-ray machines with millimeter wave scanners, perhaps made by Smiths Detection to maintain a two-supplier approach (current TSA MMW scanners are made by L-3).
The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
 
David_itl
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:24 pm

As reported in the Manchester Evenning News some days ago:

"The Commission said last week it would not allow further trials of the device until a report on its safety is concluded next year.

Manchester is currently the only airport in Europe where the scanner is used.

The government has already sought permission from the Commission meaning it can remain in place in Manchester until at least November 2012."

And an even earlier report

"The move comes after American academic Dr David Brenner warned last summer that he believed the scanner could deliver up to 20 times more radiation to the skin than previously thought – potentially increasing a person's risk of skin cancer. Other scientists – and the Health Protection Agency in England – say the scanner is safe for travellers to go through as many as 5,000 times a year."

"A Manchester Airport spokesman said: “We will carry on using the body scanner because it is safe. The UK and American governments say it is safe – the EU is taking its time to make its mind up but there's nothing to suggest it won't come to the same conclusion as the UK and America.”


"“The machines involve a very low dose of x-rays equivalent to less than two minutes of flying at altitude"

Interesting that the UK looked at it and passed it as safe. And if all we're taking about is the equivalent of 2 mins flying time then it must be very, very harmful (!)
 
Wsp
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:09 pm

Quoting david_itl (Reply 8):
"“The machines involve a very low dose of x-rays equivalent to less than two minutes of flying at altitude"

Interesting that the UK looked at it and passed it as safe. And if all we're taking about is the equivalent of 2 mins flying time then it must be very, very harmful (!)

To determine the cancer risk on living tissue takes years of experimental research. No such tests with these devices were done.

Peer reviewed research in a reputable biological journal is the only source for trustworthy information on the health effects of this scanning method. All other opinions offered on this be it by the UK government or physicist equating two different radiations based on total energy are unqualified quackery that should be ignored.
 
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shamrock604
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:18 pm

I don't care what reason the EU have for banning these things - I'm just glad they have. Good call!
 
chrisair
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:24 pm

Too many people don't realize that radiation exposure is cumulative over your lifetime. One or two scans through those backscatter machines likely will have just a negligible (if any) effect on someone.

Folks who live on the road and pass through security 2-3 times a week, for 45 weeks a year, are exposed to a lot more radiation from scans than Ma and Pa Kettle who travel once a year. Over a 5, or 10 year period this adds up. And we're assuming that the amount of radiation the scans give off is a constant, known number. They might give off that 2 minutes of flight amount of radiation when they come out of the factory, but what about 1, 2, or 3 years down the line? I can guarantee that these machines aren't calibrated every day, or even every week.

These scanners are nothing more than window dressing. They slow down the lines and give the Kettles the appearance that the TSA (or UK/EU equivalent) are doing something.
 
standby87
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:11 pm

Quoting Glom (Reply 6):
The UK Government will not comply with this directive on the grounds of the "hightened security risk in the UK"

It's on this that the government chooses to defy the EU?

Quoting standby87 (Reply 1):
So the UK remains the only country in the world where playing conkers at school is banned for Health and Safety Reasons, yet giving full body X-Ray scans to young children by medically unqualified personnel is perfectly OK.

Ooh that's good. Makes it sound extra horrific.


1. Yes. That was the reason given by the Secretary of State for Transport - it's so dangerous in the UK...

2. "Extra horrific". Given the alternative of a physical pat-down, would you put children as young as 2, sick relatives or a pregnant partner through a backscatter X-Ray machine?
Maybe you don't now have either of those 3 categories, but I suspect you will have all of them at one stage of your life.

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 7):
They could easily switch to millimeter wave scanners, which are NOT being banned. The TSA should do the same by replacing all of their Rapiscan backscatter X-ray machines with millimeter wave scanners, perhaps made by Smiths Detection to maintain a two-supplier approach (current TSA MMW scanners are made by L-3).


Exactly. Do not use ionising radiation on members of the public for non-medical purposes.

[Edited 2011-12-01 14:13:20]
 
ikramerica
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:13 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 7):
They could easily switch to millimeter wave scanners, which are NOT being banned. The TSA should do the same by replacing all of their Rapiscan backscatter X-ray machines with millimeter wave scanners, perhaps made by Smiths Detection to maintain a two-supplier approach (current TSA MMW scanners are made by L-3).

And to avoid waste, all the x-ray machines should be moved to various DHS offices to be used there as security. After all, they are claiming that they are safe, so why not have them use them daily to test that theory...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
peanuts
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:46 pm

In the US: When traveling with my children, we are always directed through the "old style" security devices. When I'm alone, most of the time I'm directed towards the new technology. I decline and get the manual pat down. Oh well...

At AMS I did not even get a choice last Summer, including my children. We were "mandated" to go through the newer equipment. There was no alternative. I thought that was very odd. At least I get choices in the US.
 
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par13del
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:06 pm

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 5):
The USA already re-screens anyone continuing on a connceting flight, so your logic doesn't follow.

Not talking about connecting via the US.

Quoting Glom (Reply 6):
You mean customs?

The US has "requested" a number of security measures for flights into the US, if the EU does away with body scanners will the US ask for something else or just allow the situation?
Biometric passports, luggage scanners, countries who do not comply, what the US penalty?

On this topic, what's the EU penalty on the UK for non-compliance?

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 5):
It is an independent decision by the UK government and the USA doesn't really care one way or the other.

So the US had no input on such devices being deployed worldwide, ok
 
EI564
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:38 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 15):

The US has "requested" a number of security measures for flights into the US, if the EU does away with body scanners will the US ask for something else or just allow the situation?
Biometric passports, luggage scanners, countries who do not comply, what the US penalty?

On this topic, what's the EU penalty on the UK for non-compliance?

I believe Manchester (the only airport that uses the banned scanners) has a derogation from the EU until the end of 2012.

And given that the other scanners are not banned, I presume this just means that we'll see a lot more of those. The EU has not suggested it is generally anti-scanners.
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:32 am

Quoting EI564 (Reply 16):
And given that the other scanners are not banned, I presume this just means that we'll see a lot more of those. The EU has not suggested it is generally anti-scanners.

Yep, millimeter wave scanners will remain legal in the EU.
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davescj
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:33 am

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 10):
I don't care what reason the EU have for banning these things - I'm just glad they have. Good call!

I agree. Further, there have been articles here in the US suggesting the amount of radiation said to be used and actually used is not the same. At least in the US you can opt for the putdown (which I do). After all the drama about the pat down, even the "wait" time for the putdown and the putdown is under 3 min as a rule.

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
planejamie
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:07 am

One point missed here is that the full body scanner machines aren't used by everyone at MAN. Essentially you walk through the old style metal detector into an enclosed box. This has two doors, one leading right out to the end of the baggage x-ray and one leading to the body scanner. If the metal detector goes off, you go to the body scanner.

I'm actually backing up the idea of these full body scanners on security grounds, an unpopular opinion but still, since their introduction - has there been any terrorist incident on a passenger flight? I will also point out that MAN was once one of the most insecure airports in the UK and I remember the BBC (I think it was) doing a trial there and carrying some form of weapon or something through. The flying public only goes through one of these maybe 4 times a year at worst (unless you're a very frequent flyer). Maybe they should look at profiling for frequent flyers, they still go through the metal detector, but if it beeps, they get a pat down rather than the full body scan.

I think if they switched to the other type of body scanner, that might reduce health risks. But this is in the UK, probably one of the most health & safety concious countries in the world and to be honest, I highly doubt the government would have given the green light for these unless they were properly tested. They've also been in place for a while now, I see no one claiming to have cancer from them who's a frequent flyer anyway. I think the EU needs it's head testing...
 
skyguyB727
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:22 am

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 4):
Good, so I wonder when AMS will remove these scanners which are fully in use for staff working at the airport, and also used at specific flights/departure gates.
Quoting peanuts (Reply 14):
At AMS I did not even get a choice last Summer, including my children. We were "mandated" to go through the newer equipment. There was no alternative.

When I flew out of AMS, I simply refused to go through the human x-ray machine. I insisted on being patted down. The screeners didn't want to do it. They said the machines did not use any radiation, just radio waves. I knew better and insisted on being patted down. They finally relented and patted me down.

Passengers always have the right to a physical search. Know your rights and insist that they be upheld.

I recently had a TSA screener say he didn't blame me one bit for not wanting to go through the x-ray machine. Why expose yourself to any more radiation than you have to? As another poster correctly stated, radiation exposure is cumulative.
 
standby87
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:03 am

There's so much nonsense on the Internet e.g. 911 Conspiracy theories, that it's difficult to see the wood from the trees, but I found this and I think it's worth a read

http://www.propublica.org/documents/.../april-2011-letter-to-john-holdren

It's not hysterical, it's not ranting. But it does put in more technical terms than I managed above some of the arguments against backscatter X-Ray machines.

Manchester Airport - can you read this?
 
EI564
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:48 am

Quoting planejamie (Reply 19):
They've also been in place for a while now, I see no one claiming to have cancer from them who's a frequent flyer anyway.

A while. 1 or 2 years? That's really not a long time at all when it comes to the effects of radiation.  

The argument for using scanners is that we need to err on the side of caution when it comes to aviation security. By the same logic, if X-Ray scanners are a possible health risk, then it makes sense to err on the side of caution and not use them until we are sure they are fine.

Saying that the EU needs its head testing because it is trying to be somewhat logical is a bit silly.
 
nclmedic
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:04 am

Quoting standby87 (Reply 2):
"The U.S. government has stated that the radiation emitted from those devices is minimal, equal to the natural exposure during 2 minutes of flying, though some research suggests it's higher."

The "equivalent" or "equal" Quantity of radiation is a misnomer!

Gosh, you should work for the radiology department at my gaff - this is sort of rage I get back when I innocently try to refer a patient down for a 'routine' chest x-ray, which to be fair every single patient admitted acutely gets.

There are two issues here - is the system safe and is it effective?

Of course, ionising radiation does cause cancer. But the quantities we are talking about here and completely negligible. In fact, frequent flyers, pilots and crew will be getting far higher levels than most without these body scanners. Don't get me wrong, if these machines were wheeled out for every pax, every time, then the risk might become more significant, but this doesn't seem to be in the pipe line.

Do they work? Well, it adds another level of security, I suppose, but there's no real evidence that they work that well.

In short, I have patients that get a chest xray (generally regarded as being the lowest dose of radiation we can give clinically) on a weekly or even bi-weekly basis. This is considered safe with a negligible risk. The sort of doses being dished out on these scanners is much lower than this.
 
JU068
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:26 am

Quoting david_itl (Reply 8):
The government has already sought permission from the Commission meaning it can remain in place in Manchester until at least November 2012."

It's an extension which doesn't matter, if the UK as a whole disagrees with this measure then it needs support from other 8 European regional parliaments in order to use the EU yellow card. Once it does that the Commission will give an explanation to why this law is necessary, in other words the law will pass but the regional EU parliaments will get a simple explanation... so much for European democracy.

On the other hand, I believe this is a step in the right direction. Thank God that we are moving away from the US-induced paranoia.
First the ban on credit card charges and now this... great!  
 
standby87
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:52 am

Quoting planejamie (Reply 19):
They've also been in place for a while now, I see no one claiming to have cancer from them who's a frequent flyer anyway.

It takes years.
And scientists can be wrong. Else we'd all have fallen off the edge of the world when we fly over the Horizon   

Have a read about a special person:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Stewart

"Her results were initially regarded as unsound, but her findings on fetal damage caused by x-rays of pregnant women were eventually accepted worldwide and the use of medical x-rays during pregnancy and early childhood was curtailed as a result"
 
standby87
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:58 am

Quoting nclmedic (Reply 23):
In short, I have patients that get a chest xray (generally regarded as being the lowest dose of radiation we can give clinically) on a weekly or even bi-weekly basis. This is considered safe with a negligible risk. The sort of doses being dished out on these scanners is much lower than this.

It's good to get info from a real Doctor.
But without sounding funny, how you know that the doses are much lower?
I'm an Engineer, and I was taught "never assume anything. Always start from 1st Principles etc."

As I can see, the airport machines have been self-certified by the manufacturer and that was only specially modified versions. There's never been an independent study on real-life machines.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:04 am

Quoting chrisair (Reply 11):
Too many people don't realize that radiation exposure is cumulative over your lifetime. One or two scans through those backscatter machines likely will have just a negligible (if any) effect on someone.

Folks who live on the road and pass through security 2-3 times a week, for 45 weeks a year, are exposed to a lot more radiation from scans than Ma and Pa Kettle who travel once a year. Over a 5, or 10 year period this adds up. And we're assuming that the amount of radiation the scans give off is a constant, known number. They might give off that 2 minutes of flight amount of radiation when they come out of the factory, but what about 1, 2, or 3 years down the line? I can guarantee that these machines aren't calibrated every day, or even every week.

And what about airport employees, who´ll have to go through security up to 20+ times a day? I don´t fancy being x-rayed several times a day. In this case I prefer the oldfashioned pat-down.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 14):
At AMS I did not even get a choice last Summer, including my children. We were "mandated" to go through the newer equipment. There was no alternative. I thought that was very odd. At least I get choices in the US.

It cost money and it has to be used to justify it´s existence.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Wsp
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:04 am

Quoting nclmedic (Reply 23):
In short, I have patients that get a chest xray (generally regarded as being the lowest dose of radiation we can give clinically) on a weekly or even bi-weekly basis. This is considered safe with a negligible risk. The sort of doses being dished out on these scanners is much lower than this.

Such frequent X-rays are not considered safe, they may be considered acceptable if the patient has other severe medical issues that make these scans the lesser evil. If you send otherwise healthy patients to bi-weekly X-rays you are a threat to public health.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/la.../PIIS0140-6736(04)15433-0/fulltext

An estimated additional 700 cancer cases per year for the UK resulting from regular, conservative use of radiation where the average person gets an X-ray every few years. And you think putting everyone under the machine every two weeks is a negligible risk?
 
nclmedic
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:46 am

Quoting Wsp (Reply 28):
If you send otherwise healthy patients to bi-weekly X-rays you are a threat to public health.

Threat to public health? I'm hardly trawling the streets looking for healthy victims for the 'dreaded' x-ray machine!

Quoting standby87 (Reply 26):
It's good to get info from a real Doctor.
But without sounding funny, how you know that the doses are much lower?
I'm an Engineer, and I was taught "never assume anything. Always start from 1st Principles etc."

I have to agree - never say never! But this is what I've been led to believe by one of my colleagues from radiology. By looking at the penetrance of the x-ray, you're not looking 'inside' the person but merely the surface of their skin.

The point I was trying (perhaps unsuccessfully!) to make was that the odd x-ray isn't going to kill anyone, and that even without them in place, frequent flyers are already getting doses of radiation that are not insignificant. Of course I am playing devil's advocate, and would in no way wish to appear as if I am ignorant to the risks associated with ionising radiation.

Quoting Wsp (Reply 28):
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/la.../PIIS0140-6736(04)15433-0/fulltext

All xrays are not the same. This isn't a bad paper, but I did say chest x-ray. Incidentally, if you read the paper, it attributes less than 8 cases of cancer per million chest x-rays/mammograms performed. It confirms that, yes, a chest x-ray provides an incredibly low organ radiation (0.07 mGy to the lungs as opposed to 37.69 mGy from a coronary angiogram). Of course if you lump all diagnostic xray modalities together (plain film, CT, barium studies), you're going to get big numbers of potentially attributable cancers (forgetting that we can't possibly control for every carcinogenic variable as we frankly don't have an exhaustive list yet). Doing a chest xray (even frequently) is not the same as doing regular barium enemas!

But back to the point I was making - just like in medicine, you weigh up the costs and benefits before deciding on an investigation. If the scanners work significantly, then this probably outweighs the risk to the general public. But I am not this naive. It's clear the UK government doesn't want to appear to have wasted £££ on scanners when there's frankly no money left. The illusion of security is probably better PR than security itself.
 
AngMoh
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RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:07 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 14):
In the US: When traveling with my children, we are always directed through the "old style" security devices. When I'm alone, most of the time I'm directed towards the new technology. I decline and get the manual pat down. Oh well...

At AMS I did not even get a choice last Summer, including my children. We were "mandated" to go through the newer equipment. There was no alternative. I thought that was very odd. At least I get choices in the US.

The newer machines most likely produce lower doses of radiation than the old style devices due to the improvements in detection technology. So for health reasons, I most likely select a new machine rather than an old one.
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AustrianZRH
Posts: 852
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:55 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:18 pm

To add some numbers: TSA claims that one backscatter x-ray causes an equivalent dose of 10 μrem, or 0.1 μSv. Four times a week, 52 weeks a year for a frequent traveller results in an additional dose of about 21 μSv/year. The total annual radiation dose one gets from natural and artificial sources is, depending on the location one lives at, between 1 and 5 mSv, resulting in an increase in dose of approximately 1%.

However, even if this is low, one should avoid as much radiation exposure as possible (a doctor administering an unnecessary X-ray can even be charged for deliberately causing bodily injury). Thus, the ban makes sense, and I actually don't get why they even started with the BSX scanners when mm-wave scanners are available which do not cause any exposure to ionizing radiation. (Btw, does anybody know if LGA uses BSX or MMW scanners?)

Having said that, the lines created by those body scanners are probably the most important reason why I hate them.......
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
Wsp
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 7:43 am

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:55 pm

Quoting nclmedic (Reply 29):
Threat to public health? I'm hardly trawling the streets looking for healthy victims for the 'dreaded' x-ray machine!

You are suggesting that millions of travelers should be subjected to ionizing radiation. Even though there are systems that work without it.

Quoting nclmedic (Reply 29):
But back to the point I was making - just like in medicine, you weigh up the costs and benefits before deciding on an investigation. If the scanners work significantly, then this probably outweighs the risk to the general public.

For a cost/benefit calculation you need actual benefits otherwise you divide by zero.

We know that drugs are smuggled in body cavities, the same is possible for weapons if terrorists want to bring them on board. The machines won't stop that.

The main benefit is the bottom line of the makers of these systems and the former DHS employees that purchased these machines in their function as public employees and then through the magic of the revolving door ended up as employees of the manufacturers. Not sure if their profit outweighs the radiation risks in your opinion.

Quoting nclmedic (Reply 29):
Doing a chest xray (even frequently) is not the same as doing regular barium enemas!

Why is it that you recognize the difference between a chest X-ray and a barium enema but insist that a chest X-ray and a scan that deposits its energy in a thin cell layer at the surface of the skin can be treated as virtually the same process?
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11663
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:07 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 31):
(a doctor administering an unnecessary X-ray can even be charged for deliberately causing bodily injury).

Where? Tell me more.

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 31):
Four times a week, 52 weeks a year for a frequent traveller results in an additional dose of
about 21 μSv/year.

You'd have to try pretty hard to get 4 scans a week, even if you were flying every day. They simply aren't used that much (I think I get scanned on somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of my flights).
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Grid
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:26 am

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:14 pm

Quoting Wsp (Reply 32):
The main benefit is the bottom line of the makers of these systems and the former DHS employees that purchased these machines in their function as public employees and then through the magic of the revolving door ended up as employees of the manufacturers. Not sure if their profit outweighs the radiation risks in your opinion.

Good point. Not to mention that the government runs out and spends millions, if not billions, of dollars on new - and not fully tested and verified - technology. It is the early adopter and incurs a huge risk as launch customer for new devices. But once the money starts flowing, interests become entrenched and only a newer, more expensive device will replace them.
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AustrianZRH
Posts: 852
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:55 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:17 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 33):
Where? Tell me more.

I cannot tell you the exact paragraph, however, it's what we learned in my Medical Radiation Physics (my secondary specialization during my undergrad studies) course, which follows the curriculum of the Swiss Federation for Medical Physics. Any x-ray investigation needs to be medically justified (of course, no doctor in his right mind would order an x-ray just for the fun of it).

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 33):
You'd have to try pretty hard to get 4 scans a week, even if you were flying every day.

So even the airports which have them don't use them all the time? Sorry, I'm not really informed about their usage. The only time I flew from an airport which had full body scanners installed (last summer from SeaTac), all passengers departing were screened. Thus I thought that 4 departures from a major airport a week would result in 4 full body scans a week.
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
rwsea
Posts: 2426
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:23 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:29 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 14):
At AMS I did not even get a choice last Summer, including my children. We were "mandated" to go through the newer equipment. There was no alternative. I thought that was very odd. At least I get choices in the US.
Quoting skyguyB727 (Reply 20):
When I flew out of AMS, I simply refused to go through the human x-ray machine. I insisted on being patted down. The screeners didn't want to do it. They said the machines did not use any radiation, just radio waves. I knew better and insisted on being patted down. They finally relented and patted me down.

AMS does not use the same scanners at the US. AMS has the millimeter scanners which do not have an x-ray and therefore no radiation. These are different than the scanners in the US.

http://www.schiphol.nl/Travellers/At...ecksUponDeparture/SecurityScan.htm

I would expect that these type of scanners would still be permitted after this directive.
 
nclmedic
Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:25 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:33 pm

Quoting Wsp (Reply 32):
Why is it that you recognize the difference between a chest X-ray and a barium enema but insist that a chest X-ray and a scan that deposits its energy in a thin cell layer at the surface of the skin can be treated as virtually the same process?

Not the same process but the same type of energy.

Quoting Wsp (Reply 32):
We know that drugs are smuggled in body cavities, the same is possible for weapons if terrorists want to bring them on board. The machines won't stop that.

I completely agree with you! It won't stop certain internal concealments from making it onboard aircraft! I'm not particularly in favour of body scanners at airports, but I'm not particularly against them either on the basis that, on an INDIVIDUAL level, they don't contribute significantly to anyone's increased radiation burden.

Quoting Wsp (Reply 32):
Not sure if their profit outweighs the radiation risks in your opinion.

Now, now, let's keep it clean!

Quoting Wsp (Reply 32):
For a cost/benefit calculation you need actual benefits otherwise you divide by zero.

Now this, again, is something I have to agree with you on as well. It's probably never going to be possible to work out on any reliable level how effective these machines are/could be. But if you'd like me to start a (long) list on other government initiatives worldwide that lack any evidence-base......


But saying these machines are 'dangerous' is just not accurate because we don't know what the risks might be. A privacy issue, inconvenient, expensive, poorly manned - probably.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11663
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:33 pm

Quoting rwsea (Reply 36):
These are different than the scanners in the US.

The US has both backscatter and millimeter wave, actually.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
AustrianZRH
Posts: 852
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:55 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:34 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 33):
Where? Tell me more.

Here's a German verdict (German only, but says essentially says that an x-ray without medical justification may be prosecuted as intentional assault even when there is no direct sign of bodily injury): http://www.wernerschell.de/Rechtsalm...trafrecht/roentgenuntersuchung.php

Edit: Swiss site was just a reference to German verdict.

[Edited 2011-12-02 06:37:55]
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11663
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:43 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 39):
Here's a German verdict (German only, but says essentially says that an x-ray without medical justification may be prosecuted as intentional assault even when there is no direct sign of bodily injury

I don't read German, but I don't understand how a wrong judgment call, which almost by definition cannot be international, can possibly be prosecuted as an international act.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Grid
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:26 am

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:05 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 40):
Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 39):
Here's a German verdict (German only, but says essentially says that an x-ray without medical justification may be prosecuted as intentional assault even when there is no direct sign of bodily injury

I don't read German, but I don't understand how a wrong judgment call, which almost by definition cannot be international, can possibly be prosecuted as an international act.

Something is amiss here. First, international or intentional.

The only thing I can think of is that there is a mistake in translation or the act of giving the x-ray was intentional, even if the judgment call was unintentionally wrong so it is intent... which is a really odd way to look at it.

And Google translate makes a mess of that page.

[Edited 2011-12-02 07:05:57]
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Cubsrule
Posts: 11663
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:22 pm

Quoting Grid (Reply 41):
Something is amiss here. First, international or intentional.

Well, I can fix that part. It should have been intentional.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
AustrianZRH
Posts: 852
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:55 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:12 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 40):
I don't read German, but I don't understand how a wrong judgment call, which almost by definition cannot be international, can possibly be prosecuted as an international act.

The verdict at hand is on a case of a doctor (an orthopaedic specialist) ordering 140 x-rays over a 12 year period, which was considered excessive. Background may very well be that x-ray investigations can be billed to the med insurance at rather high cost, so maximizing x-rays is maximizing the profit.
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11663
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:19 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 43):
The verdict at hand is on a case of a doctor (an orthopaedic specialist) ordering 140 x-rays over a 12 year period, which was considered excessive

Objectively excessive or subjectively excessive?
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
AustrianZRH
Posts: 852
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:55 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:32 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 44):
Objectively excessive or subjectively excessive?

I was not there in the trial, but as Germany is a modern constitutional state I would expect there were several third-party experts testifying on the excessiveness of the x-rays, otherwise the judges wouldn't have had a basis for their decision.
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11663
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:36 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 45):
I was not there in the trial, but as Germany is a modern constitutional state I would expect there were several third-party experts testifying on the excessiveness of the x-rays, otherwise the judges wouldn't have had a basis for their decision.

Fair enough. How many body scans are equivalent to 140 x-rays? How much flying?
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
AustrianZRH
Posts: 852
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:55 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:41 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 46):
Fair enough. How many body scans are equivalent to 140 x-rays? How much flying?

Of course, body scans have a way lower equivalent dose than a x-ray image which have between 1 mSv (arms, legs, head) to 20 mSv (CT of the stomach).
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11663
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:42 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 47):
Of course, body scans have a way lower equivalent dose than a x-ray image which have between 1 mSv (arms, legs, head) to 20 mSv (CT of the stomach).

So why are we even talking about the possibility that some level of body scanning could be objectively unreasonable?
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
babybus
Posts: 2379
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 5:07 am

RE: EU Bans Full-body X-ray Scanners...Health Concerns

Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:49 pm

We should never play with people's health. If the technology is un-tested or potentially life threatening then it must be banned. Surely it's a Health and Safety issue to have X-rays being used by non professionals.

Quoting david_itl (Reply 8):
Interesting that the UK looked at it and passed it as safe.

The UK will pass anything that will sell.

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 10):
I don't care what reason the EU have for banning these things - I'm just glad they have. Good call!

The UK has a lot to be thankful for to the EU. It keeps us civilised.

Quoting ju068 (Reply 24):
On the other hand, I believe this is a step in the right direction. Thank God that we are moving away from the US-induced paranoia.

True, US style paranoia is not very British. We should tackle security issues in a gentlemanly manner. I wrote to BAA a while back to get them to stop their staff shouting at customers in the security queues at LHR. The reason why no one in the queue was listening to instructions from the staff was because they were foreign travellers who don't speak English. Unbelievable that an airport needs to be told that.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.

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