Dave Stoppenhagen | June 27, 2003
The government is now testing a body scanner that is basically a giant X-ray. It will expose all dense objects that may be carried on the body that metal detectors can miss (i.e. plastic weapons or bomb components). Yes this sounds great and all but when you step through, expect to be exposed not only to x-rays that bounce off of the body, can be harmful to your health, but also makes your clothes disappear. What are everyone's thoughts on this? How much privacy/modesty do we sacrifice for safety? Is this better than having a wand passed all over your body or patted down?

Dave Stoppenhagen | June 27, 2003
Forgot to mention they mention adding an "electronic fig leaf" program or shoving a guy into a little booth to watch these all day.

Scott Hardie | June 28, 2003
*sigh* Yet another reason not to fly.

I don't know if it's worth it. It's very invasive. For once, men have more to worry about than women. I mean, kids are going to be passing through this thing. That just doesn't seem right. If it were up to me, I don't know if I'd ban the technology, but I do know that I don't like it. The ideal solution, of course impossible, is to give people a choice of being x-rayed or being patted down.

Anna Gregoline | June 28, 2003
I want to know how much radiation we're talking about here (And I wonder about pregnant women?)

Scott Hardie | June 28, 2003
They say it's an equivalent quantity to sunshine.

Anna Gregoline | June 28, 2003
I read that, but how MUCH sunshine? That's a big difference.

Lori Lancaster | June 30, 2003
[hidden by request]

Jackie Mason | June 30, 2003
[hidden by request]

Scott Hardie | June 30, 2003
Why would the program director equate the radiation to "about as much as sunshine" if she meant "lethal doses of sunshine"? I would think common sense would provide that she means that two seconds in the x-ray scanner is equivalent to two seconds of standing outside in the sun. Even a frequent flyer who boarded a plane every other day in a given year, 180 times, would all combined get the equivalent radiation of standing in the sun for five minutes. In other words, don't worry about it. :-)

Lori, when I said that men have it worse, I mean in the seeing-us-naked aspect of it. (Actually, everything I wrote in that paragraph was about the naked aspect.)

Jackie, I agree with you completely that current security is adequate when administered correctly. The TSA spent a fortune last year hiring tens of thousands of new security guards all over the country; I know because I was one of the multitude of applicants. The administration has recently taken such big steps to improve security, so how about we wait to see how it works, instead of jumping the gun and implementing these large, expensive, and invasive new x-ray scanners?

Anna Gregoline | July 1, 2003
They won't do it. They're too strapped for cash as it is.I'm sure the radiation is negligible, but if I was pregnant and had to fly frequently, I wouldn't be going through those things.


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