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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 01:18 PM
Original message
Interesting article on radiation dangers of TSA macines
Written by Jason Bell, a molecular biologist and biophysicist.

summary says Rapiscan's reports should be considered invalid due to the fact that one of the two X-ray sources was disabled during testing;


good read on how the radiation work, why TSA's argements are bunk, what safety levels should be considered, and how dangerous the machines are to TSA staff who have be standing around them.

http://myhelicaltryst.blogspot.com/2010/11/tsa-x-ray-ba...
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lob1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. When I get an x-ray from the dentist, he puts a big
Edited on Sat Nov-27-10 01:28 PM by lob1
lead apron on me, then he gets the hell out of the room. That's for a TOOTH. Now tell me that blasting your whole body cannot be harmful. I call BS. I call really really
big time BS. They can't be safe, especially for frequent fliers.

The government also told police and fire departments that the air was safe to breathe after 9/11. It wasn't, it was toxic. This is another one of those times when our
government thinks it's okay to kill us.
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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Don't forget "the beaches are safe" in the Gulf of Mexico
and how wonderful the untested seafood is from there.
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Motown_Johnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. If there is a malfunction, If it is reconfigured......
When someone places something that reads the actual amount of radiation being used and proves that it isn't the amount claimed to be in use I will listen.


The rest of this is alarmist B.S.!

The last paragraph is also a disclaimer stating that he is not in the correct field to come to proper conclusions and that he has done nothing other than review some TSA reports.


If this is the best evidence against the scanners then odds are they are not a problem.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Are you a scientist?
Did you believe the government when they said first responders at Ground Zero were safe and did not need extra protective gear also? I know many people who did believe those claims, even saying as you are, that they would 'wait to see some proof other than Lieberals hysterical claims'. Well, the tragic truth is now available, sadly.

According to scientists, these harmful rays are not distributed to the whole body which would minimize their effects. Almost all scientific reports I have read on these scanners, going back years state that they are dangerous, especially to the elderly and to pregnant women.


Statistical evidence shows that taking the word of the government on the safety of products they wish to foist on the American people, is not a good bet. By contrast, time and time again, scientific warnings have proven to be correct, but sadly often too late to save lives, as in the case of the 9/11 workers.

I will go with the Scientists on this. They do not stand to profit in any way from the distribution of these machines as most of our elected officials do.
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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. It seems that they just rolled out the machines with no noitice,
no announcement to the public about safety, etc.

Overall, it is the ATTITUDE of the Homeland Security programs that I object to.Being authoritarian and secretive is no way to gain public trust, which makes me think they do not give a damn about public trust.

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johnaries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Actually, MOST scientists agree that it's safe. It's only a handful
that have a problem with the backscatter machines.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. And that makes you confident that they are safe?
Edited on Sat Nov-27-10 03:42 PM by LisaL
Do you realize that there have been drugs approved by FDA only to be withdrawn from the market because of serious side effects that only became apparent after some years on the market? The drugs that underwent clinical trials?

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Segami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. If I may add a bit more I came across.
How Terahertz Waves Tear Apart DNA

A new model of the way the THz waves interact with DNA explains how the damage is done and why evidence has been so hard to gather


Great things are expected of terahertz waves, the radiation that fills the slot in the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and the infrared. Terahertz waves pass through non-conducting materials such as clothes , paper, wood and brick and so cameras sensitive to them can peer inside envelopes, into living rooms and "frisk" people at distance.


The way terahertz waves are absorbed and emitted can also be used to determine the chemical composition of a material. And even though they don't travel far inside the body, there is great hope that the waves can be used to spot tumours near the surface of the skin.


With all that potential, it's no wonder that research on terahertz waves has exploded in the last ten years or so.


But what of the health effects of terahertz waves? At first glance, it's easy to dismiss any notion that they can be damaging. Terahertz photons are not energetic enough to break chemical bonds or ionise atoms or molecules, the chief reasons why higher energy photons such as x-rays and UV rays are so bad for us. But could there be another mechanism at work?


The evidence that terahertz radiation damages biological systems is mixed. "Some studies reported significant genetic damage while others, although similar, showed none," say Boian Alexandrov at the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and a few buddies. Now these guys think they know why.


Alexandrov and co have created a model to investigate how THz fields interact with double-stranded DNA and what they've found is remarkable. They say that although the forces generated are tiny, resonant effects allow THz waves to unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication. That's a jaw dropping conclusion.


And it also explains why the evidence has been so hard to garner. Ordinary resonant effects are not powerful enough to do do this kind of damage but nonlinear resonances can. These nonlinear instabilities are much less likely to form which explains why the character of THz genotoxic effects are probabilistic rather than deterministic, say the team.


This should set the cat among the pigeons. Of course, terahertz waves are a natural part of environment, just like visible and infrared light. But a new generation of cameras are set to appear that not only record terahertz waves but also bombard us with them. And if our exposure is set to increase, the question that urgently needs answering is what level of terahertz exposure is safe.


Ref: arxiv.org/abs/0910.5294: DNA Breathing Dynamics in the Presence of a Terahertz Field


We consider the influence of a terahertz field on the breathing dynamics of double-stranded DNA. We model the spontaneous formation of spatially localized openings of a damped and driven DNA chain, and find that linear instabilities lead to dynamic dimerization, while true local strand separations require a threshold amplitude mechanism. Based on our results we argue that a specific terahertz radiation exposure may significantly affect the natural dynamics of DNA, and thereby influence intricate molecular processes involved in gene expression and DNA replication.

B. S. Alexandrov, V. Gelev, A. R. Bishop, A. Usheva, K. O. Rasmussen
(Submitted on 28 Oct 2009)


<http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/24331 />
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. How would most scientists know? There is no independent safety data available on which to base
an intelligent assessment.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. And sometimes it takes years to figure it out.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. Can you provide some links to non-government funded scientists
who have stated that there is no risk from these machines? Every report from a scientific source I have read states that there is a risk. Any disagreement is about how much of a risk there is.

You may not care that the goverment's risk-assessment proclamations regarding anything that involves Big Busines V Public safety, has been proven to be wrong so many times, and often fatally wrong, but if you don't mind, I prefer the opinions of those who have no agenda or financial interests when I want information regarding public safety.

So far we know that the TSA has lied about the storage of images from these machines. We only know this because of a FOIA filing by EPIC after the TSA refused to respond to requests for documents.

Apparently lying to the public is not a concern for the TSA so I am very glad that people are demanding facts, not opinions from people who have an interest in defending their particular political party.

What's interesting is how this issue has caused such a flip-flop in views from both sides of the political spectrum. While Bush was pushing these machines/pat-downs, Democrats were almost united in their opposition to them. Now, Democrats are defending them.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
4. Seeing how these scanners are being pushed by right wing sources,
"Which brings us to the money shot. The body scanner is sure to get a go-ahead because of the illustrious personages hawking them. Chief among them is former DHS secretary Michael Chertoff, who now heads the Chertoff Group, which represents one of the leading manufacturers of whole-body-imaging machines, Rapiscan Systems. For days after the attack, Chertoff made the rounds on the media promoting the scanners, calling the bombing attempt "a very vivid lesson in the value of that machinery"all without disclosing his relationship to Rapiscan. According to the Washington Post:"

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/01/airport-scanner-sca...

That plus the growing list of people that are exempted from them - and the groping.
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LiberalArkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
6. My question is: Are the scanner makers of the scanners able to be held liable for damages.
Are are they being held blameless?
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Even if anyone develops cancer after going through one
of these machines, I imagine it's going to be very hard to prove what exactly was responsible.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. Applied for and received limited liability relief...
"In the US, manufacturers of security related equipment can apply for protection under the SAFETY act, which limits their financial liability in product liability cases to the amount of their insurance coverage. The Rapiscan Secure 1000 was listed in 2006"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backscatter_X-ray#Safety_r...
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Well ain't that nice?
:sarcasm:
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tpsbmam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-10 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
17. Interesting article. What it did was make me question mammograms & the BRCA genes.
I wondered if people with those genes were screened more aggressively and, by doing so, the screening has actually been leading to breast cancer occurrences, or maybe occurrences earlier than might otherwise have happened. Don't know that anyone has studied that, but sure enough I found one article that says having earlier and increased frequency of mammograms has been the recommended route but that the Cancer Risk Program at the Univ. of California San Francisco is now "discussing" dropping the mammogram component of screenings & sticking to just MRI screenings before ages 30 or 35. (hell, why not after that??)

For me just an interesting development in the detection of breast cancer.

As for his article, definite K&R!


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