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Submission + - Full Body Scanners Radiation Risk Evaluated (ama-assn.org)

Kilrah_il writes: X-ray backscatter devices have caused un uproar over 2 issues: Privacy and radiation risk. A recent Archives of Internal Medicine article researched the radiation risk. The results: A single scan is equal to 3-9 minutes of natural background radiation exposure and would raise the amount of radiation a person is exposed to on a 6-hour intercontinental flight by about 1%. As for cancer risk, 1 million people flying 10 times a week will have 4 additional cases of cancer (using current models of radiation-cancer association). This is compared to the 600 cases of cancer they will get from the flight itself and to the 400,00 cases these people will have over their lifetime. However, the article notes: "
In medicine, we try to balance risks and benefits of everything we do, and thus while the risks are indeed exceedingly small, the scanners should not be deployed unless they provide benefit—improved national security and safety—and consideration of these issues is outside the scope of our expertise." The article also chastises TSA for not allowing independent assessment of the machines' safe operation.

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