Posted by: 2in10 | 04/21/2011

airline x-ray machines

Dr. Mercola’s health website had a “front page” article today on the new TSA full-body scanners for security. I had been waiting for several months to encounter one so I could endure the personal pat-down and see how bad it really is.

We were well ontime for our flight last week but a quick dinner took too much time, and so time was tight when we entered the security area for our flight at Terminal B. I was worried about getting to the gate, but we decided when we saw people ahead of us standing, feet on the shoe-prints and arms up to be x-rayed, that we would do what we had always said we would: request the patdown.

The female TSA person who conducted my pat-down said she was sorry to put me through it; she was very considerate. I would do it again. In some ways it seemed less humiliating than standing with your arms raised, feet in the “stirrups” while you get x-rayed to get on an airplane.

Dr. Mercola, who often has valuable things to say, notes that it’s too soon to know the real deal on these full-body scanners. He points out that while we are being told exposure to these x-rays is safe, that was also said about x-raying feet to fit shoes in the 1950s. Those doses were found to be too high. Some research suggests that these airline scanners may cause cancer. What’s also worrisome is that researchers believe the dose from full-body screening may be up to 20 times higher than what experts currently estimate.

What to do? I plan to avoid these x-rays when I can and not worry about it on an occasion when I can’t. Then I will know I did what I could to protect myself.

Staying well is like fitness: you need to exercise, but many moments of being active throughout the day also contribute to good health. Avoiding the full-body scanners could be one small way to reduce the risks that come with contemporary life.

Happy travels —

Carolyn

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