Scientist Warns of Airport Scanner Cancer Risk

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2010 4:08 AM CDT
Volunteers pass through the first full body scanner installed at O'Hare International Airport , Monday, March 15, 2010, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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(Newser) – The radiation emitted by airport body scanners is up to 20 times more powerful than previously believed, warns a scientist who says current calculations fail to take into account the concentration of scanner radiation in the skin. This would mean the potential cancer risk from scanners is also much higher. Given that 800 million people a year pass through airport scanners, "the population risk has the potential to be significant," Dr. David Brenner tells the Telegraph.

Brenner said the risk is highest for children and people with genetic disorders, but stresses that even the higher cancer risk he calculates is still generally "very low" for any single passenger. Under current regulations, it is considered safe for a person to undergo up to 5000 scans per year.

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