January 31, 2012
The ranking Republican Senator on the Homeland Security Committee is poised to introduce legislation this week that would force the TSA to have independent tests carried out on the Backscatter radiation body scanners currently in use in hundreds of airports nationwide.
“Our bill would require the independent study on the possible health effects of the x-ray radiation emitted by some of the scanning machines and give airline passengers, especially those passengers in sensitive groups, such as pregnant women, clear notice of their ability to choose another screening option in lieu of exposure to ionizing radiation,” Senator Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) told The Register in an email.
Propublica reports that Collins’ bill would make it a requirement for the TSA to find an independent laboratory to thoroughly test the levels of radiation being emitted by the scanners and evaluate the potential health risks.
“The peer-reviewed study, to be submitted to Congress, would also evaluate the safety mechanisms on the machine and determine whether there are any biological signs of cellular damage caused by the scans.” the report states.
A draft of the bill requires the DHS’s Under Secretary for Science and Technology to identify and contract with an independent testing lab “in consultation with the National Science Foundation, from among laboratories with expertise in the conduct of similar studies.”
“I have urged TSA to move toward only radiation-free screening technology,” Collins said in a statement to ProPublica. “In the meantime, an independent study is needed to protect the public and to determine what technology is worthy of taxpayer dollars.”
Read entire article HERE.