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Body Scanners

Risking Health to Secure Airports

The Transportation Security Administration plans to install body scanners at nearly every airport security lane in the country by the end of 2014. Scientists have objected to one type of scanner because it uses X-rays which increase the risk of cancer. In an effort to detect explosives hidden under clothing, is the TSA jeopardizing passenger safety?

TSA Removes X-Ray Body Scanners from Airports

The Transportation Security Administration will remove all X-ray body scanners from airports because privacy software couldn’t be developed on time. The scanners had been the subject of a ProPublica investigation into their safety.

The Inactivation of the Body Scanners

Everything you always wanted to know about the TSA's body scanners — and why many of them have been warehoused.

What Kind of Body Scanner Does Your Airport Have?

Nearly 100 backscatter scanners were removed from major airports recently to speed up lines. See if they're still in use at your airport.

TSA to Commission Independent Study of X-Ray Body Scanners

The Transportation Security Administration will have the National Academy of Sciences study the health effects of X-ray body scanners used in airports. But how much will the study reveal?

TSA X-Ray Body Scanners Sit Idle in Warehouse

The Transportation Security Administration removed X-ray body scanners from major airports, planning to shift them to smaller airports. But many of the backscatters sit in a warehouse as the agency looks into whether the manufacturer, Rapiscan Systems, falsified software tests.

TSA Removes X-Ray Body Scanners From Major Airports

The Transportation Security Administration has been removing its X-ray body scanners from LAX, O'Hare and JFK, and putting them in less-busy airports. The X-ray machines have faced criticism over radiation and privacy.

Drive-by Scanning: Officials Expand Use and Dose of Radiation for Security Screening

From prisons to borders to the streets of New York, law enforcement officials are using X-ray scanners on people more often and with higher doses of radiation.

Bill Would Require Independent Study of X-Ray Body Scanners

Sen. Susan Collins is planning to introduce a bill that would require the TSA to conduct a new, independent health study of the X-ray body scanners used to screen airline passengers for explosives at airports.

Invasion of the Body Scanners: They're Spreading, But Are They Safe and Effective?

One type of scanner uses X-rays, and ProPublica and PBS NewsHour revealed questions about whether it might increase cancer cases. But a safer type of scanner has its own problems. ProPublica investigated the biggest change to airport security since the metal detector.

Just How Good Are the TSA's Body Scanners?

While the Transportation Security Administration says that airport body scanners are highly effective at detecting explosives hidden underneath clothing, some studies and a congressman briefed on classified research suggest the machines could miss carefully concealed plastic explosives.

Sweating Bullets: Body Scanners Can See Perspiration as a Potential Weapon

One type of airport body scanner deployed by the Transportation Security Administration has raised health concerns, but a safer type has registered such high false-alarm rates that Germany and France have nixed it.

Coffee, Tea or Cancer? Almost Half of Americans Oppose X-ray Body Scanners

A new Harris poll conducted for ProPublica shows that even if X-ray body scanners would prevent terrorists from smuggling explosives onto planes, 46 percent of Americans still oppose using them because they could cause a few people to eventually develop cancer.

Body Scanners: The Story So Far

Senator Seeks Answers on X-Ray Body Scanners

In letters to the Transportation Security Administration, Senator Susan Collins asked why the agency backed off its promise to conduct a new safety study of the X-ray machines, and recommended larger signs to advise pregnant women they can request a pat-down instead.

TSA Puts Off Safety Study of X-ray Body Scanners

After promising an independent evaluation of X-ray body scanners, the head of the TSA now says he’ll put it off pending an inspector general report on the machines.

Europe Bans X-Ray Body Scanners Used at U.S. Airports

The European Union has prohibited the use of X-ray body scanners, which emit low levels of a type of radiation shown to cause cancer.

TSA to Conduct New Study of X-Ray Body Scanners

The head of the TSA testified today that the agency will perform a new, independent study on the safety of X-ray body scanners after senators at a hearing raised questions about a ProPublica investigation.

U.S. Government Glossed Over Cancer Concerns As It Rolled Out Airport X-Ray Scanners

A 1998 safety panel was reassured X-ray body scanners wouldn't see widespread use. Today, despite having a safer alternative that the U.S. government deems highly effective, the Transportation Security Administration is marching millions of airline passengers through the scanners, parting ways with European countries that concluded radiation from routine airport use poses a health risk.

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