Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cancer Cluster Possibly Found Among TSA Workers

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the hope-they-offer-good-health-care dept.

Government 487

OverTheGeicoE writes "TSA employees at Logan International Airport believe they have identified a cancer cluster in their ranks, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and released by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. They have requested dosimetry to counter 'TSA's improperly non-monitored radiation threat.' So far, at least, they have not received it. The documents also reveal a paper from Johns Hopkins that essentially questions whether it is even safe to stand near an operating scanner, let alone inside one. Also, the National Institute of Standards and Technology says that the Dept. of Homeland Security 'mischaracterized' their work by telling USA Today that NIST affirmed the safety of the scanners when in fact NIST does not do product safety testing and never tested a scanner for safety."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

This isnt right (1, Interesting)

jason777 (557591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588498)

This should stop now. Most people dont even realize that there is the possibility of danger of goin into one of these things. Those of us that are concerned get the ol pat down. Myself, I'm not even going to fly at all. F you TSA.

Re:This isnt right (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588658)

Same here, but unfortunately a day will come when I am forced to fly, and the TSA knows it. The TSA knows that people cannot simply refuse to fly when their employers insist upon it, or when there is a family emergency, or when they want to travel across an ocean. That is why the TSA gets away with these attacks on our rights: there is no realistic chance of an effective boycott on air travel.

Re:This isnt right (2)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588808)

"Every traveler is a critical partner in TSA's efforts to keep our skies safe," Administrator John Pistole, said last fall. "And I know and appreciate that the vast majority of Americans recognize and respect the important work we do."

Your respect is noted.

I fly all the time (4, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588712)

As a frequent flyer it is fairly easy to avoid the scanners. Many smaller airports don't have them, and they are too slow for the majority of larger ones and are often turned off or majority of people waved around. Over time you learn where the scanners will not be used. The sad part is most TSA agents are normal people that need a job. They are forced to stand near devices that may be safe if operating properly, but over time normal wear and tear will increase the exposure. As is normal with a slow acting, long term effect problem, owned by the government, it won't be acknowledged until the majority of victims are dead. Like nuclear submarines, have the TSA agents where dosimeter badges every day for a year. Lets see if there is a problem.

Re:I fly all the time (2)

LinksAwakener (1081617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588774)

Heh, DTW does the opposite: they only use the scanners and only during busy hours will they open up the metal detectors to relieve foot traffic. Over the last 6 months, flying in and out of Detroit every week, I've only missed the scanners twice, perhaps three times.

Re:I fly all the time (2)

aenigmainc (739876) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588908)

i fly twice a week. At RDU they are practically mandatory. i always opt out and ask to be groped but i see a lot of business travelers using them. I've always wondered why people that fly like me would ever want to go through that machine. it just seems silly. I much prefer to have the dude feel me up, heck i even moan a little just to encourage them.

Re:This isnt right (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588724)

This never should have started.
There is no principle of justice, morality, or reason that will stop the American government from harming its people and the rest of the world in order to benefit its politicians and business associates. The government is too corrupted and is beyond salvation. The only way to get it to do anything is by force. The only way to achieve that force is to raise awareness.

It sucks, but that's how it works.

Re:This isnt right (1)

Script Cat (832717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588760)

I worry more about the danger of putting my groin into these things. Will my children have leukaemia and other hereditary genetic damage. Where the hell is the damn nuclear regulatory commission on this? Because this is their mandate.

Re:This isnt right (0)

jschmitz (607083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588764)

I'm not really in the position where I "can't fly at all" you know because I don't WORK AT BURGER KING..

Would somebody declare a War on Supidity? (2)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588502)

This is a classic government mistake, trying to eliminate a threat in one area causes needless problems in another area. Ever since 9/11 the airport security people have gotten a blank check. TSA seems willing to buy any new scanner invented, safety tests will be done later if ever. It's been a long time since we've heard of an airplane disruption on a domestic flight... do we really need to up the specs on this technology?

Re:Would somebody declare a War on Supidity? (5, Informative)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588644)

There's one piece of the puzzle that you're missing.

The company that the TSA is buying these scanners from is run by a former head of the TSA.

Re:Would somebody declare a War on Supidity? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588952)

Can you provide citations for this statement?

Re:Would somebody declare a War on Supidity? (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588762)

The safety tests are being performed as I type, using passengers as test subjects. In 10 to 20 years we should have some good data about long term irradiation of people with these expensive security placebos.

Wow. Bad day for the TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588506)

It's been a very bad day for the TSA. And a very good day for people with no love for a police state.

My First Post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588508)

...It has cancer!

What's a Cancer Cluster? (0)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588512)

Is this like a malicious Beowulf cluster?

Re:What's a Cancer Cluster? (5, Informative)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588582)

Not sure if trolling...

A cancer cluster is a geographic or demographic grouping in which cancer is found to occur at higher than expected (or "normal") levels.

Re:What's a Cancer Cluster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588722)

Not sure if trolling...

A cancer cluster is a geographic or demographic grouping in which cancer is found to occur at higher than expected (or "normal") levels.

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!

(P.S. - Mod Parent Informative, I didn't know either)

Re:What's a Cancer Cluster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588646)

Is this like a malicious Beowulf cluster?

No, it's lawyer slang for "Jackpot!"

Re:What's a Cancer Cluster? (4, Funny)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588824)

No, it's a group of people born in late June or the first two-thirds of July.

1st here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588520)

hurray!

That's how to do it! (4, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588528)

If you can't beat the system from without, beat it from within. We should throw as much support as possible behind this - get some lawyers in there, get some reporters over there, do whatever we can.

Re:That's how to do it! (3, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588736)

TSA Xray scanners cause more harm than terrorists.

I like the ring to that headline.

(And I've said this before. Can't be assed to look it up but I've said it on Slashdot even, if you care to search for it.)

Re:That's how to do it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588742)

Except that the "fix" will be some sort of protective shielding for TSA employees and affirmation that it's "perfectly safe" for normal use and that it's just due to repeated/all day exposure and those same TSA employees will then proceed to happily irradiate passengers while protected themselves.

Yes, some media attention and continued attempts to stop this insanity and ban these things from our airports is needed though I wouldn't hold your breath. However, I have a hard time feeling bad for any TSA employee. Even LESS if those same TSA employees are now continuing to "just do their job" after admitting/being concerned with the machines causing cancer. Anyone believing that and still taking part in scanning people doesn't deserve any sympathy.

Re:That's how to do it! (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588844)

Also, the "fix" might be a precedent for other radiation cases which are factually bad (the nonsense about cell phone and WiFi emissions causing cancer, headaches and hippie-ism).

I have a very hard time being sympathetic to TSA agents, but I want this one handled right. Not for the sake of the brownshirts, but because of the potential for bad science. The TSA is already bad policy; let's not compound bad policy with bad science.

Re:That's how to do it! (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588916)

That's if it's only a minor story. If we make this a Big Fucking Deal [tm], get the media talking about it on a broad level. "Cancergate"-level.

And the presidential election campaigns are just getting started. If we make this an election issue... oh man. Flawless victory.

Here's the thing - nobody really supports them. Nobody with real power, at least. The only thing keeping them in place is the general apathy of America - we have not, collectively, given a shit about it. It's like the WTC reconstruction - everybody thinks "something ought to be done", but nobody says "I'll do something about it

As for me, I'm writing up an email to my senators, telling them basically this - that everybody hates the machines, and getting rid of them would be a major publicity win for whoever can take credit.

Re:That's how to do it! (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588776)

Well I live just outside Boston, so I just forwarded this article to all the contacts I could find at the various local & national news organizations including:

newstip@globe.com
newsdesk@necn.com
iteam@wbztv.com
http://www.myfoxboston.com/generic/about_us/contact_us/news_tip [myfoxboston.com]
http://www.thebostonchannel.com/newscenter5/index.html [thebostonchannel.com]

etc.

Re:That's how to do it! (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588872)

All that will do is require lead plates be purchased (from the scanner company) and the scanners relocated to a position where no stray waves will escape. It's all for your safety...

Good (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588532)

Not trolling but after what they did to this 95 year old woman http://news.travel.aol.com/2011/06/26/tsa-pats-down-elderly-woman-removes-adult-diaper-video/ I hope they all get cancer and die.

Shame on you TSA and shame on you President Obama for letting this happen to AMERICA.

Re:Good (1, Insightful)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588586)

Not to beat the Obama drum, but TSA was created during the Bush years.

And rather than shame a President for letting it happen you should be shaming the US Citizenry that allowed this.

Re:Good (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588734)

I guess it's time for the TSA to shout in unison that all this "protection" they're giving us, is for "the children?" It will be interesting when we start seeing TSA minions wearing lead protectors while patting 95 year olds for their diaper?

too many punch lines (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588534)

it boggles the mind

Stop this stupid program! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588538)

How many people need to be deadly sick from this insanity to realized the non sense of a full body scanner.

Considering tons of material entering in each days in airport for restaurant, boutique and workers... I feel safe to say that someone can find another way to enter stuff behind the gate without having to carry it on himself!

Bad guy will always have the guns even if it's illegal!

no tears shed. (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588540)

Sounds like karma to me... no decent human being would be able to handle that job long-term. Only the most callous and sadistic stay.

Re:no tears shed. (2, Insightful)

Necroman (61604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588620)

Someone posted about working as a TSA employee on here a few days ago. He said he worked there for a few months. Most of the TSA employees don't enjoy their jobs and get no pleasure out of screwing with passengers.

A job is a job. It's unskilled work that will pay the bills, so people are going to take it if they can get it. If you understand that TSA employees probably hate their job as much as you hate them doing it, show them some respect and they'll be nice to you.

Re:no tears shed. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588666)

They get respect when they stop being shitbags and earn it.

Re:no tears shed. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588678)

I'm pretty sure that respect is one of those things that you have to earn...

Re:no tears shed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588882)

As I see it, everyone starts out with a default level of respect, as a courtesy if nothing else.

TSA operatives need to demonstrate that they are worthy of maintaining the respect of the flyers.
Flyers need to demonstrate that they are worthy of maintaining the respect of the TSA operatives.

If one is rude or short with a TSA operative, that spreads to their treatment of others.

Basically, be kind to others and you'll reap what you sow.

Re:no tears shed. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588720)

What I have been wondering about ever since the first stories about TSA employees giving children pat-downs is this: how many TSA employees are actually pedophiles, who have found a legal and sanctioned method of inappropriately touching children? Or more broadly, a legal and sanctioned method of inappropriately touching anyone? The TSA is allowing and ordering its employees to touch people in ways that would get an ordinary person arrested for sexual misconduct.

I have no doubt that the TSA gives some kind of psychological screening before having an employee touch other people, but I have doubts that the screening would actually detect the kind of perverts who would enjoy the job.

Re:no tears shed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588786)

I have no doubt that the TSA gives some kind of psychological screening before having an employee touch other people

You're more confident in their employment practices than I am.

Re:no tears shed. (1)

Jstlook (1193309) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588920)

I know a couple people who work for TSA. They used to be cool, independent thinkers who I enjoyed hanging around. Now half of them are suspicious, pessimistic people who act as though the entire nation is entrapped in some massive conspiracy theory.

Even if they perform psychological screening, I doubt very much whether they're looking for the right traits, or whether this screening is performed often enough.

Re:no tears shed. (4, Informative)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588796)

It's predictable though that no one likes the goons. The tragedy is they won't have any hate left over for former DHS head Michael Chertoff [wikipedia.org] who got them into the mess by lobbying for this scanner boondoggle. Of course the fact he made millions off them is completely irrelevant.

Re:no tears shed. (1, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588886)

The difference is that the TSA employees who are performing the pat-downs signed up for the job knowing that they would be inappropriately touching people. A corrupt politician making millions of dollars violating our rights is bad, sure; but it is much worse to be the person who knowingly signs up for a job that entails something that can only be described as legally sanctioned sexual misconduct, which includes otherwise illegal contact with children. The TSA employees are just as responsible for this lunacy as their superiors.

Re:no tears shed. (0)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588856)

That's the same point I've often made with telemarketers: You have to understand that these folks are doing their jobs not because they want to, but because the alternative is much worse - unemployment, starvation, homelessness, etc.

That also means that TSA employees who are acting like jackasses are almost definitely doing so with not only the sanction but encouragement of those higher up the chain. Just today, in the case of the elderly woman required to show that her diaper wasn't a bomb, the TSA crew got the full support of the organization. Which means - treat the employees as people who are just trying to do their job. Save your complaining and vilification for the upper management who's setting the policies designed to mess with passengers.

Also, if you really want to protest these kinds of behaviors, the only real solution is to not fly. Stop rewarding this behavior with your hard-earned cash.

Re:no tears shed. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588928)

Not to pull a Godwin or anything, but that is the argument that was used by Nazis: it was a job, and if they didn't take it the alternative was worse. Sorry, that argument didn't fly then, and it won't fly now. Nobody signs up for a job with the TSA without knowing what it is that the TSA does, not anymore. I have some serious questions about what sort of person would sign up for that kind of work.

Re:no tears shed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588958)

A job is a job. It's unskilled work that will pay the bills, so people are going to take it if they can get it. If you understand that TSA employees probably hate their job as much as you hate them doing it, show them some respect and they'll be nice to you.

No, a TSA job isn't a job. I've known hunger and desperation, but there were still some things that I would not do. The TSA is something sick and wrong, and nobody with any sense of ethics or morals would be doing that. TSA employees and pedophiles and other nonconsensual gropers of genitalia should all get cancer and die, and be as miserable as possible while doing it. An endless stream of airline passengers telling TSA employees over and over that they are the lowest form of putrescence to slither on the face of the earth is a good thing. Perhaps if we all do our part, some of them will quit or commit suicide before they contract cancer.

Let's also not forget that the job that the TSA is doing is pointless. Once the heavy locking cockpit doors were installed, that was the end of the airport security cost/benefit line.

Re:no tears shed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588702)

Somebody's gotta do it, they don't have to like it (and I doubt they do), it's not their fault, they need to feed the kids/themselves.

Re:no tears shed. (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588938)

Somebody's gotta do it

Why?

Re:no tears shed. (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588948)

There is no way to NOT Godwin this discussion because the parallels are too obvoius.

I would shovel pig shit with a Dixie cup before taking a TSA paycheck.

Re:no tears shed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588924)

I guess wishes work.

Not regulated... (5, Insightful)

black soap (2201626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588542)

But you see, security devices aren't regulated. Medical devices are regulated, but security devices aren't medical devices. Says so right on the label. Just take our word for it that this is safe.

If the scanners save one life (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588550)

then it's worth the risk of the radiation exposure.

Re:If the scanners save one life (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588660)

Nice troll. "Take one life to save one life." Remember, if this is a cancer cluster, and it is caused by something in the TSA environment, they're literally killing themselves so that you can feel a sense of security. And most would argue that you cannot prove the scanners are effective, thus you're trading their lives for imaginary safety. If you're willing to kill just to feel safe, wouldn't it be better if you just picked up a gun, went to $terroristsourcedujour and started shooting?

Re:If the scanners save one life (4, Insightful)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588784)

Ask yourself this question: Would you rather have Freedom or Security?

I choose freedom. Unfortunately I can't choose often enough because the majority in the US vote for Security, then act surprised when they lose Freedom.

Re:If the scanners save one life (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588834)

Right. Of course the scanners are useless, better to use you know proven security screening methods like ... profiling(behavioral and otherwise).

Would Someone Please File An Injunction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588556)

on the use of these cancer spreaders at airports!!!!!!!!

Thank you.

Yours In Krasnoyarsk,
Kilgore Trout

DUH! DOSAGE MATTERS! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588562)

Standing in the scanner for a short period exposes you to a small amount (Although it, by design, dumps all that radiation in a thin layer of skin, upping the effective dose for your skin...), and reflects the rest. Standing around the reflected radiation, for hours, and hours on end, for days, months, and years...

Hey, the shoe sizing fluoroscopes were such a great idea, too...

Re:DUH! DOSAGE MATTERS! (1)

Script Cat (832717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588818)

The X-rays stop in a thin layer of skin. That's funny.

Re:DUH! DOSAGE MATTERS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588900)

In a backscatter machine?

Yes. Yes they do. That's how they work. That's why they scatter back. They're "low energy" X-rays.

I'm so (NOT!) surprised.. (1)

yossie (93792) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588566)

There is no safe level of radiation - there are simply levels that don't significantly increase risk. It may well be discovered that hanging out by XRay sources isn't as un-bad for your health as previously assumed (perhaps due to not actually testing..) I'm so glad my tax dollars paid for all this tech and will now pay all the large sums that will get awarded in the inevitable law suits.. Yay.

Re:I'm so (NOT!) surprised.. (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588692)

There is no safe level of radiation - there are simply levels that don't significantly increase risk. It may well be discovered that hanging out by XRay sources isn't as un-bad for your health as previously assumed (perhaps due to not actually testing..) I'm so glad my tax dollars paid for all this tech and will now pay all the large sums that will get awarded in the inevitable law suits.. Yay.

There is no safe level of anything. Too much water can kill you, too much sunlight, too much salt, driving a car, walking down the road. EVERYTHING has risks, nothing is truly safe.

Re:I'm so (NOT!) surprised.. (4, Funny)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588854)

Living increases the risk of dying.

Re:I'm so (NOT!) surprised.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588912)

If only there was a government agency to protect us from all of this, one that acted like a loving older brother ...

Re:I'm so (NOT!) surprised.. (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588934)

I'm pretty sure that so far, death is riskless, and you won`t be getting back up. That`s it, until we manage to create zombies..

Re:I'm so (NOT!) surprised.. (1)

vikisonline (1917814) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588940)

The double not confuses me...

There's a rush to judgement (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588570)

in assuming it's the scanners before having properly ruled out Voodoo.

Re:There's a rush to judgement (1)

OffaMyLawn (1885682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588836)

I'm going to have to go with you on this one. It could also be just a passenger with the super power of causing an untraceable death in those whom the TSA have wronged with their lack of a happy ending.

I'd have never guessed... (4, Funny)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588574)

I suppose it's time to get comfortable with the idea of intimate relations with TSA screeners. It wouldn't be so bad but for the lack of choice in who does the screening, the lack of cuddling afterwards and total absence of a commitment. It just makes the whole ordeal seem so tawdry.

Well, Duh. (4, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588578)

Even if you bought into the bullshit about the scanners being safe (despite little or no testing), doesn't it seem a little obvious that something was up when they wouldn't let TSA employees were those little radiation badges that change color to indicate when you've had too much exposure?

Re:Well, Duh. (3, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588640)


These are TSA people you're talking about.

If they were given radiation dose badges, the retards would get loaded on malt liquor and have races to see who's badge changes first in the scanners.

Re:Well, Duh. (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588752)

It is a well known fact that applying skeptical empiricism sharply increases the risk of terrorist attacks.

Only through obedience and faith can we hope to preserve our way of life against authoritarian fanaticism.

Re:Well, Duh. (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588926)

Only through obedience and faith can we hope to preserve our way of life against authoritarian fanaticism.

Thank you. I now have my new sig.

They aren't quite America's best and brightest (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588584)

Did the survey adjust for the fact that these window-licking retards have been chewing on paint-chips and drinking from the toilet?

Politicians (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588608)

Can we make corrupt politicians, and anyone who voted for the Patriot Act work these machines for a few months every year?

Re:Politicians (4, Insightful)

Sunshinerat (1114191) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588694)

We need random TSA screenings in and out of congress and senate.
No exceptions, everyone could be a danger to the legislative branch, the best we can do is a fast line for senators and congressmen but the shoes have to come off.

Re:Politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588918)

Why make them random? Make them 100% compulsory and see how long they last.

Re:Politicians (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588792)

Why, that would be like demanding that the children of politicians enlist in the army when we are at war!

Good (1, Insightful)

heptapod (243146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588626)

They deserve it. Random text to pad out the comment.

Re:Good (2)

vikisonline (1917814) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588896)

Even though I hate what they do and represent, I wouldn't go this far. I don't think anyone deserves that kind of disease...

What a cluster (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588632)

The TSA has yet to catch a real terrorist, but has likely given at least some people cancer. All for security theater. And also all the abuse of authority they have done lately, such as making a 95 year old woman remove her Depends during a search: http://www.newsherald.com/news/mother-94767-search-adult.html [newsherald.com] , I almost don't feel bad for the affected agents.

Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588634)

Obviously the cancer is caused by all the terrorists their catching with radiation bombs.

NIST doesn't test for safety (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588642)

But NIST does test for accuracy, and the other labs that test for safety would rely on that accuracy.

Re:NIST doesn't test for safety (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588714)

It's a good thing they don't test for safety. Hear about the plutonium spill [denverpost.com] in Boulder a few years back?

Counting on the manufacturer (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588650)

Counting on the manufacturer for safety testing. What could go wrong?

Re:Counting on the manufacturer (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588914)

Counting on the manufacturer to sell you a solution to a problem that actually exists, and care whether they work or not: what could go wrong?

I warned a TSA agent about that. (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588668)

I actually talked about this with a TSA agent recently (during a pat-down). The trouble is that the X-ray "spot" in the scanners is actually fairly intense; the scanning machines are only safe if the spot in kept in motion., as it is supposed to be when in use. (The scanner is doing a raster scan, and looking for backscatter.) If there is any internal reflection, then someone outside the machine (i.e., a TSA agent) could get repeated exposures, which would not be good. The same might be true if people in the scanners had reflections from buttons or other metal items. It seems unlikely, but the only way to be sure is to measure it.

Re:I warned a TSA agent about that. (2)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588950)

Question: if the beam doesn't hit the dosimeter, will it read anything at all? As in, if the spot bounces off the inside of the machine and always hits the agent's calf because of where he's standing, and he gets skin cancer in his calf, would the dosimeter have detected that at all? Or is the reflection a wider beam than that?

Terrorists could never hijack a plane... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588672)

...What American would honestly let some terrorist hijack a plane in 2011? The only reason they succeeded on 9/11 was because no one knew what the hell was going on. Passengers would bum-rush them today, plain and simple.

Whoa!!!! (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588690)

Are you trying to claim the government will mischaracterize the truth in order to push a political agenda that is convenient?

That seems highly unlikely.

Re:Whoa!!!! (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588864)

... government will mischaracterize the truth

The same way the Catholic Church "mischaracterized" people as heretics... to death.

Only $160 if they really cared (1)

TwineLogic (1679802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588710)

I found the following link: http://www.sierradosimetry.com/pricelist.aspx [sierradosimetry.com]

On this page is offered a dosimetric badge service costing $160/year. At that level, the user return their badge each month, receiving a new badge. They are given a monthly result reading, which should be higher time resolution than needed for this application.

If the TSA employees really care, maybe 16 of them could each pitch in $10 for one badge to be worn by the person who runs the machine...

Suddenly, I'm In Favor Of These Things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588726)

Before, I was all like "Ban the TSA! Charge them with sexual assault and manufacturing backscatter child porn!" but now I'm all like "Remember 9/11! We must continue to install TSA-operated X-Ray equipment everywhere!"

If you willingly work for the TSA, you deserve whatever you get.

Cancer clusters are the norm, not the exception (1)

thepainguy (1436453) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588754)

Seriously, how likely is it that cancer would be completely uniformly distributed?

Lifestyle (2)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588772)

Given that most TSA staff appear to be ill-educated mouthbreathers whose primary diet consists of cigarettes, Coke and Funyuns, shouldn't they consider general lifestyle factors as well?

Statistical pro (2)

kentrel (526003) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588794)

While I have no doubt these machines are the bane of our personal freedom, and may even be dangerous its also possible that cancer clusters show up randomly. They do in areas near cellphone towers, unrelated to radiation, simply because clusters happen randomly too.

So radiation in small doses does cause cancer? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588798)

Hm, Hm, Hm... I thought all the Fukushima threads had established that low-dose radiation is far from harmful, and actually promoting your health? Where are the nuclear proponents now? All I see in this thread so far is decrying of the evil government raining down destruction by means of scanning machines. Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

Questions, questions. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36588826)

How long have these scanners been in place? How many TSA employees are there?

How many are smokers?* How many have been diagnosed with cancer? What sort of cancers are we talking about here?

It seems very early on for any meaningful pattern to have become visible.

_____

*- consider this shorthand for every common risk factor that might be relevant.

TSA documents are bull (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588884)

I love how they talk about the primary beam on the Xray scanner as if it's enough that the primary beam isn't pointed at someone. When xrays strike an object usually there is backscatter radiation as well as diffraction and florescence. These are all factors that are considered when designing medical treatment and imaging rooms, that's the law. Give me a break, both ends of the machine are open at all times and the machine runs at all times...

The letters about safety read like a typical employer disclaimer when they're caught doing something unsafe.

Which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36588954)

I'm confused. Does non-ionizing radiation cause cancer at Slashdot or not? I've seen no end of claims about how our beloved cell toys can't possibly be the cause of brain tumors because the radiation is non-ionizing. Well, guess what; the full body scanners don't emit ionizing radiation either. Also, the power level of one of these back scatter systems is thousands of times smaller than a cell phone dose.

Yet, here we are trumpeting 'cancer clusters' caused by low power, non-ionizing systems.

Either low power non-ionizing radiation causes cancer and your beloved cell toy is a carcinogen, or it doesn't and full body scanners aren't harmful. Which is it?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?