TSA Scanner safety – Fail
TSA Scanner safety – Fail

We have posted before on the TSA Pornoscanner safety. Now there is further alarming evidence:

TSA has no regular testing system for its pornoscanners: Many experts are skeptical that the TSA’s new backscatter pornoscanner machines are safe, but even the experts who endorse them are careful to bracket their reassurances with certain caveats: the safety of the machines depends heavily on their being properly maintained, regularly tested, and expertly operated. Whether or not you’re comfortable with the intended radiation emissions from the scanners, no one in their right mind would argue that a broken machine that lovingly lingers over your reproductive organs and infuses them with 10,000 or 100,000 times the normal dosage is desirable….

the TSA claims that entities like the FDA, the US Army and Johns Hopkins all regularly inspect their machines, none of these groups agrees, and they all disavow any role in regularly maintaining and testing the TSA’s equipment (the Army has tested machines in three airports, but has not conducted any further testing). And Johns Hopkins denies that it has certified the machines as safe for operation in the first place — let alone taking on any ongoing testing and certification program.

Naturally the TSA can claim there is no evidence of machines malfunctioning. Just as Admiral Nelson could put the telescope to his blind eye and claim he could see no signal.

The Pornoscanners are already in place in Canada. They are due to be installed in Australia during 2011. Agencies in both countries will have the same incentives to minimize harm, in the form of cancer, to the general public. None. The cancer will not be definitively traceable to the machines. The relevant personal will have moved on by the time it manifests itself.

Installing the scanners is as stupid as mandating mercury filled light bulbs. An initiative the world has Australian Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull to thank for. He is already in a new job, so when the pollution turns up it will be someone else’s problem. In the mean time we all pay more for our light bulbs. You know what they say about government:

If you think the problems we create are bad, just wait until you see our solutions.

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