Author Topic: Protect your junk  (Read 4454 times)

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seasage

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Protect your junk
« on: November 16, 2010, 06:03:35 AM »
Dear WW,

This morning I was motivated to check out the safety of full-body x-ray scanners that are currently in use at airports.  As a result of this research, I recommend that you politely refuse the scanner and ask for a pat-down check instead. 

The TSA personnel will tell you that the scanners are safe.  They may even give you some statistics.  I can tell you that the x-ray scanners are NOT safe, and that the statistics they are using are not correct, because they are comparing different types of x-rays in their stats.

These are my reasons for recommending that you avoid the scanners:

1. The x-ray scanners use an x-ray energy that will dump all the x-rays in your skin and in a small depth beneath your skin.  The skin-dump is exactly the reason they give the pictures.  This is extremely dangerous for (a) people who are already at higher risk for skin cancer (melanoma), (b) children, (c) pregnant women, and (d) men's gonads. 

2. A group of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) raised concerns about the “potential serious health risks” from the scanners in a letter sent to the White House Office of Science and Technology in April.  This is what the scientists said:
__________________________
Biochemist John Sedat and his colleagues said in the letter that most of the energy from the scanners is delivered to the skin and underlying tissue.

“While the dose would be safe if it were distributed throughout the volume of the entire body, the dose to the skin may be dangerously high,” they wrote.

The scientists say the X-rays could pose a risk to everyone from travelers over the age of 65 to pregnant women and their unborn babies, to HIV-positive travelers, cancer patients and men.

“Men’s sexual organs are exposed to the X-rays. The skin is very thin there,” Love explained
___________________________
The White House poo-pooed their concerns, giving statistics that were not relevant, because they were comparing apples to oranges, i.e. comparing x-rays that pass through the body to these "skin-dump" x-rays.  The scientists are now at work on a rebuttal.

3. Cancer scientists are warning that these body scanners will statistically lead to some people getting skin cancer.

4. Pilots unions are telling their members to avoid the scanners, for the reasons given above.

5. The International Agency on Radiation Safety, composed of 14 agencies throughout the world, including the IAEA, says that these scanners should not be used on pregnant women and children.  (They also should have included men!).

All the information above applies to the x-ray type of body scanner, which comprises about 2/3 of the scanners now in use at airports.  Another type of scanner uses microwave radiation.  The safety of this radiation is not known.

Please tell your sons and daughters. Protect their "junk"!


« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 06:09:33 AM by seasage »

Tara

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 07:22:48 AM »
I am very concerned about this also.   Here is a link to the

Opt out day Nov 24th.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/say-i-opt-out-of-airport-scanners-on-national-opt-out-day-november-24-108112344.html

Offline elsieshaye

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 11:42:07 AM »
Here's the thing, though:  I fly maybe once or twice a year, if that.  I'm willing to risk the potential side effects (especially since I am exposed to tons of different kinds of radiation and chemicals daily as part of normal life, as are all of us) than have someone run their hand around my private parts.  It's not a regular pat down - they actually reach between your buttocks and where your thighs meet your torso.  I have a very definite negative reaction to being touched, particularly there, and would rather not endure that.  I might feel differently about it if I flew weekly (although I suspect not).
This too shall pass.  All is well.

kathleen

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2010, 12:15:27 PM »
Seasage,

There is an organization, FlyersRights.org, that is dealing with this and other issues, started by Kate Hanni.  She was on CNN yesterday talking about this and the fact that a high government ex-official involved with homeland security is one of the principals now in one of the scanner companies making so much money off the systems.

I found this organization after a nightmare, cattle-car trip to San Diego, that I almost wondered if I would survive.  My husband and I vowed if we got back home alive, that was it for flying for us.  And it was.  Flying is a choice; even going 1,500 miles this summer to a conference, we opted to drive.  If we can't drive, we don't go.

We won't put ourselves through health hazards or embarrassing searches; Kate Hanni pointed out this is treating every flyer as a potential criminal.  It's not a whole lot different than what you go through if you get arrested for a crime.  I'm glad we have the choice not to fly.

Our answer may be too extreme for most, but it's what we're comfortable with at this stage.  Beyond the body scans are the long waits, the
lack of food and water, filthy restrooms, exposure to all kinds of illnesses, and being jammed in without enough space in the cabin.  Nothing fun about it.  I arrived home from San Diego exhausted and sick for two weeks.  And by far it wasn't the first time; just the last straw.

Thank you for posting this; it's good information.

Kathleen


seasage

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2010, 12:48:38 PM »
Elsieshaye,

If I were you, I would probably make the same decision you are making.  However, in my family, we have a long history of melanoma.  Many family members have died in their fifties due to that cancer, including my brother, who died in august.

Kathleen,

I too drive in preference to flying whenever possible.  However, our family needed that info for DS, DD, 1 remaining brother and 2 sisters, most of whom will be traveling next week.  Due to past research, I was the one who was familiar with the scientific arguments and able to sort between competing claims.

I am going to check out flyersrights.org.  Thank you for that information.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 12:54:26 PM by seasage »

kathleen

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2010, 01:26:28 PM »
S---FlyersRights has updates they will send you via email.  I read every one and find them very informative.  Kath.

seasage

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2010, 01:35:29 PM »
I am posting a link to a picture of the millimeter-wave full-body scanner.  I have no reason to believe that this scanner is unsafe.   So if you are standing in line, and a TSA agent taps you on the shoulder and invites you into one of these, I say go ahead.

http://www.sds.l-3com.com/products/i/PROV_PS_Jan2010.jpg

Here is the letter UCSF scientists sent to the White House:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3685/cancer-ray-opt-out.pdf

And here is a great story about a man who printed out that letter and used it at the airport: http://gizmodo.com/5692198/a-tsa-success-story
.



« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 02:23:54 PM by seasage »

Tara

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2010, 08:32:22 PM »
Hi

I like all this info.  I am going to fly alot in the next week as I'm headed for India so I'll be at
a number of airport but through security twice.  I'm going to opt out.  No way am I going to
get xrayed.  Two of my brothers died of cancer.  I printed the letter and will take that too.

seasage

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2010, 08:35:20 PM »
I will be thinking of you as you travel to India.  Have a safe trip.

Offline elsieshaye

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2010, 08:14:22 AM »
Seasage, I definitely see your point - if there's even a slight chance of triggering something you're already at an increased risk for, it's wise to avoid it. 
This too shall pass.  All is well.

kathleen

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2010, 12:06:08 PM »
Tara,

When you return from your trip, would you kindly update us on what happened?  I'd be interested to know if you think there are any
changes in the way things are handled at the airports due to the recent publicity; attitudes toward it now, both passengers and personnel;also, are you prepared for the very personal body searches?  A man was fined $11,000 last week for aggressively resisting the searches.
Please let us know what happens at the airports.

Thank you, and have a safe (non-cancer-causing) trip,

Kathleen

Tara

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2010, 05:02:18 PM »
Kathleen,

yes I will let you know.  I printed out the letter Seasage suggested and showed my DH and
he said he would prefer to be 'patted down'.  Me too.  we will see what happens.
I don't think seattle has that machine as I fly out of there several times a year, but chicago might.

I can send you an email from a cyber cafe in India?   :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

I won't be back til jan 8 but thought I could occ check in via the cyber cafes.

Offline Pen

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2010, 10:59:06 PM »
I'm so relieved to hear that you are opting out of the machine, Tara.

Have a wonderful trip - can't wait to hear all about it and how you managed with the security issues. Best wishes!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Tara

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2010, 10:34:46 AM »
Thank you Pen!

seasage

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Re: Protect your junk
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2010, 11:42:21 AM »
For a good laugh, and to keep them safe, send this link to your sons. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/18/jonathan-mann-tsa-song-parody_n_785274.html

.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 11:50:15 AM by seasage »