Cancer vs. Terrorists: 46% Say Scrap X-Ray Scanners
Nearly half in poll say small risk of disease isn't worth it: ProPublica
By Dustin Lushing, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2011 6:45 PM CST
A passenger goes through a full-body scanner at Logan International Airport in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

(Newser) – Almost half of Americans are against the use of X-ray body scanners in airports—even if they would detect terrorists with explosives—because of the low cancer risk they might pose, according to a poll conducted for ProPublica. The TSA aims to make the body scanners a common sight at virtually all airports by 2014, even as Europe has banned them. Sen. Susan Collins, meanwhile, wants larger warning signs posted letting travelers know they can opt for a patdown instead.

The Harris poll question: "If a security scanner existed which would significantly help in preventing terrorists from boarding a plane with powder, plastic, or liquid explosives, do you think the TSA should still use it even if it could cause perhaps six of the 100 million passengers who fly each year to eventually develop cancer?" Of the 2,198 respondents, 46% said no, 36% said yes, and 18% weren't sure. Click here for more details on the poll and possible health risks.

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
ExceleRater
Dec 8, 2011 7:46 AM CST
Every cancer that kills someone starts as a single damaged cell. It's nuts to go through these things. +/-35,000 people per year die in traffic accidents in the U.S. That's equivalent to 100-200 plane crashes. In 2009 there were over 12,000 gun-related murders in the U.S. That's equivalent to maybe 50 plane crashes. If you want to be safe, stay home with locked doors and have everything delivered. Just for perspective.
nagisaman
Dec 8, 2011 3:17 AM CST
what are the chances that we are being scanned anyway, without our knowledge or consent?
JimW
Dec 7, 2011 10:32 PM CST
I will never fly again because of TSA and their bullshit. Those scanner's radiation happens to be COLLECTIVE, meaning it doesn't just pass through you and disappear, it stays, and every time you do it again, it adds up. And as far as being fondled, I would just wind up in jail. Because the 1st time I got touched where i said not to, I would bust a coupla heads before I got hauled off. Surprisingly enough, I do not miss jets at all, I find it much more enjoyable to drive, ride a train or ship, etc. Fuck TSA and the horse they rode in on. I might not get somewhere as fast, but it sure is a LOT less stressful.