Saturday, April 7, 2012

Forget Fear of Flying, Fear Airport Screening

Thanks to Ivonne Ramirez for sending in this information that was presented by Amy Goodman on "Democracy Now" on March 29, 2012.

A recent incident in the air involving a pilot was enough to inspire a fear of flying in anyone. But just getting to your airplane these days may present a greater risk to your health than the actual flight.

New airport security screening technology, primarily backscatter X-ray devices, have come under increased scrutiny, as their effectiveness is questioned amid concerns that the radiation exposure may cause cancer. Adding to health concerns are both the graphic nature of the images captured, essentially nude photos of every person passing through the machine, and the aggressive—and for some, humiliating—nature of the alternative to the scans, the “enhanced pat-down” by a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agentREAD MORE


  1. I agree 100% Percent with this, I do not feel like such extremes should be taken especially if it puts us in harms way. I personally dont feel comfortable with others being able to see me naked and who knows whos all looking at those xrays, I believe that it is our right to refuse them but when we do it is such a questionable thing your almost made out to be a criminal. I from personal experience know even with such security measures such as this new xray people get through with things so is it really worth loosing peoples privacy and rights?

  2. I learned a lot from this article. I am a frequent flyer and am terrified every time i step on the plane because of fear of mechanical failure. However, this article showed me that there is much more to be worried about. i never thought or imagined about the health risks on an actual flight. it makes sense because the security that you have to go through is truly ridiculous but i understand why. However, i never thought about the radiation causing cancer. In the end, this was all truly eye opening.

  3. I guess I'm lucky - not being able to walk shoeless through the plain X-ray machine and unable to raise my left arm for the body scanner, I always have to be patted down. Most of the time it is not too bad; I guess a white woman in a wheelchair doesn't look like much of a threat! I did have an "enhanced" pat-down once and it was pretty invasive. I think some screeners are worse than others and some of the skycaps assisting me have indicated that is true. One told me she hates when one of her passengers got a particular screener because it always took twice as long with her than with the others.