TSA officials requested the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health "complete an evaluation of X-ray based technologies," following an alarming email exchange between the Department of Homeland Security from TSA officials
in Boston's Logan International Airport claiming that full-body airport scanners caused "cancer clusters" among TSA workers. However, the new test results found no cause for alarm. [more]
TSA's response on the matter quotes NIOSH's latest report, stating that the scanners "comply with all applicable standards for emission limits, and that radiation doses to TSA employees are well below the federal dose limits," according to a TSA statement.
After the report, "TSA informed employees at [Boston Logan International Airport] about the results and were provided additional safety information. Further, certified health physicists at the U.S. Army Public Health Command conducted radiation surveys at BOS in 2010, and are continuing to conduct area dosimeter surveys," according to the statement.
TSA also has a "mandatory radiation inspection conducted on each piece of X-ray based technology before it leaves the factory, once it is installed in an airport, once every 12 months, any time there is a maintenance issue or the machine is moved, and at the request of an employee."
However, EPIC firmly agrees with a Johns Hopkins University study indicating "that radiation zones around body scanners could exceed the 'General Public Dose Limit
.' " When it comes to determining if this will result in cancer, time will tell. But in the meantime, the business travel community may want to consider the potential impact on road warriors who, like TSA employees, are also exposed to increased levels of radiation.