Are x-ray scanners at airports dangerous?
March 29, 2011
You arrive at the airport and the usual routine begins. You check in and drop off your baggage, and then you make your way to security.
You take off your jewellery and place it, along with your keys and any other metal objects, in a tray. Then you get ready to go through the scanner and you start to panic. Many travellers fear setting off the alarm, while other passengers are more concerned about the levels of radiation they are being exposed to and the consequent health risks.
Thankfully, you can stop worrying about the health risks of full-body x-ray scanners.
According to a study conducted by the University of California the risk of full-body scanners is minuscule. For example, you would have to go through the scanner 50 times to receive the same amount of radiation as from a dental x-ray, while a lung x-ray is equivalent to 1,000 times through the scanner and a mammogram is equivalent to 4,000 times.
At present, there are 486 full-body scanners in use in the United States of America. The European Union is considering deploying them too. Even though it is difficult to assess the cancer risks of using this scanner, the study can confirm that there are no significant threats.