Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chertoff's Christmas Comes Early

Recent polls claim most Americans have
no problem with the scanners now used
at some major U.S. airports. Since the
Chertoff Group promotes these machines,
our former Homeland Security boss must
be jumping for joy. That uninformed people
don't perceive danger is not proof against
future shock.

A Primer Regarding Human Exposure to Radiation:

(1) To this day there is no "expert"
agreed-upon safe human exposure radiation level.
(2) All radiation, whether high or low,
is cumulative. Why do radiation techs at
hospitals or doctors' offices leave the
room or wear protective gear when patients
are X-rayed? Why should you wear a lead lap
apron while getting dental X-rays? Why are pilots
publicly objecting to going through airport scanners?

There is only one answer here: too many accumulated rads
can kill you by causing cancer. If radiation
exposure wasn't cumulative, it would be safer,
because future cancer risk due to radiation would
be manageable.

Radiation medicine has saved many thousands of lives,
including mine. But radiation alters/kills healthy tissue
as well as tumors, so the blessing is definitely a
mixed one.

Going through the scanner avoids the official molestation
AKA the TSA Patdown, which is why "Opt Out" was a non-event
this Thanksgiving. But frequent fliers or those who require
repeated medical X-rays got more dangerous dosing than they
obviously realized.

Dear Mr. Chertoff, don't wear yourself out from jumping for
joy or laughing all the way to the bank. Profits from
the Rapiscan scanners will eventually dwindle, as people
learn that even a little radiation is a dangerous thing.

Meanwhile, it looks like your Christmas came early.

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