Scanner Wars: What Is the TSA Hiding?

Six American university researchers have written a letter to White House science adviser John Holdren demanding to know why the TSA won’t allow independent scientists to assess the safety of its controversial airport scanners.

Among the researchers’ concerns is the fact that investigations into the scanners’ safety were conducted by the manufacturers themselves on machines that aren’t even used in airports. –ARK

Mother Jones:

An interesting new round in the airport scanner wars: Why won’t TSA make its scanners available for independent scientific assessment—the same kind of assessment required for medical imaging machines?

That’s the question asked of White House science adviser John Holdren by five researchers at UC San Francisco and one at Arizona State University in a letter titled, There is Still no Rigorous Hard Data for the Safety of X-Ray Airport Passenger Scanners.

… In another letter to Holdren last year, the same group argued that though the overall dose may be low, no one had yet quantified the dose to the skin. Officials from the FDA and TSA responded by releasing a study … estimating that though the dose to the skin was twice the dose to the body it was still extremely low. But in their latest letter, the UCSF et al researchers note that Johns Hopkins didn’t test an actual airport machine but a model built by the manufacturer configured to resemble a system previously tested by the TSA.

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