New Airport Scanners Reduce Radiation Risk, TSA Says

Over 600 million people pass through airport security every year while catching a domestic flight.

That’s a lot of people, and there’s also been a lot of debate about whether the security scanners meant to detect danger may actually be dangerous to your health.

On Wednesday in our KTLA Health Smart, we introduced you to a former TSA employee who blames her MS diagnosis on radiation exposure.

Since she’s gotten sick, all airports have swapped out the old X-ray scanners with new technology.

The new machines have been tested and given the “bill of health,” if you will.

The TSA took KTLA cameras inside Terminal 6 at LAX to show off the upgraded technology.

According to the union for TSA workers, several health complaints have been filed for concerns regarding radiation exposure.

“There have been complaints of radiation exposure-related illness made by Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) to the union,” LAX chief steward said in an emailed statement.

“The complaints increased with the introduction of Advance Imaging Technology (AIT), also know as full-body scanners,” the statement said.

In addition to health concerns, many passengers had complained that the old body X-ray scanners were a little too revealing.

The TSA says that the new millimeter-wave scanners can not only catch the bad guys better, but the radiation emitted is well below safety standards.

So what can you expect? Ticket holders still have to “assume the position” like the old backscatter machines.

But the new machines don’t use X-ray, but rather radio-frequency waves that are considered safer.

The union for TSA workers says there is something called a dosimeter badge that measures radiation exposure, but they are not commonly used.

Right now, the government is holding a 90-day commenting period for the public to weigh in on the new scanners.

To give your thoughts, go to www.regulations.gov. You have until June 24 to give your feedback.

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