The Transportation Security Administration, better known as TSA, is investigating whether the nude body scanners used by their agents at airports are exposing passengers to dangerous levels of radiation.
To make this determination the TSA has hired the National Academy of Sciences, a private non-profit made up of science and engineer scholars.
As Wired reports, the investigation is the result of a small community of scientists who have:
“…raised health alarms over a type of ‘advanced imaging technology’ scanner installed at U.S. airports. Already controversial on privacy grounds, the AIT scanners emit radiation to allow airport screeners to see through a passenger’s clothing to check for concealed explosives and weapons.”
The controversy for TSA revolves around the backscatter technology body scanner designed by Rapiscan that TSA agents use as their primary tool to check passengers for contraband. The scanners expose passengers to a small dose of x-rays to allow TSA agents to see through their clothing to look for weapons and concealed explosives.
Many objectors to the scanners urge TSA to buy and issue a competing scanner produced by L-3 Communications that uses millimeter wave technology and does not expose passengers to any harmful radiation.
TSA has used Rapiscan scanners for five years and claim that studies show the scanners expose passengers to a minimal amounts of radiation. Academic objectors claim that the government did not properly study the backscatter x-ray devices.
Here is a video RT America produced regarding TSA and the controversy surrounding the organization:
Do you think TSA should be held more accountable for the results of the actions?