Risk of Disease
Current TSA checkpoints and the procedures surrounding them promote unhealthy environments within which infectious bacteria, viruses and fungi can thrive.
- Escheria coli (E.coli) and other serious fecal-matter-related bacteria are found on 90% of shoes after 3 months of wear (Dr. C. Gerba, Univ. of Arizona)
- These shoes, after treading on airport floors, are placed in bins which are not cleaned between uses and into which all manner of articles – purses, baby blankets and toys – are placed. Bacteria can therefore be transferred from the floor to bare feet and also from the bins to whatever gets subsequently gets placed into them.
- “Besides E. coli, which is known to cause intestinal and urinary tract infections, the soles of the shoes picked up Klebsiella pneumonia bacteria, a source of wound and bloodstream infections as well as pneumonia, and Serratia ficaria, a rare cause of infections in the respiratory tract and wounds. Those bacteria, Dr. Gerba said, all are found in fecal material, and apparently were picked up from floors in public restrooms and outside from animal excrement. The study also showed the bacteria lived longer than usual "because you're accumulating food [for the bacteria] on the bottom of the shoes," he added."[The shoes] look like they're becoming a bacteria cafeteria. ... We didn't do a survival time, but they were surviving longer than they would on a desk top.” Dr. C. Gerba
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and C-difficile are difficult to cure and all are capable of prolonged survival (up to 90 days) on hands, gloves and environmental surfaces. (Karen K. Hoffmann, R.N., M.S., C.I.C. and Irene Pipines Kittrell, R.N., University of North Carolina )The close quarters, high-density populations and lack of cleaning in and around security checkpoints provide near-ideal conditions for disease transmission.
- The TSA does not follow medical procedures for glove sterility. (Mike Adams, Natural News)
- Gloves that are used for a pat-down should not have touched baggage, conveyors or potentially infected surfaces - and never have been used to perform a prior pat-down.
- Even with gloves, localized infections on a person undergoing a pat-down can be spread from the infected area to other areas on that same passenger’s body (skin fungal infections such as ringworm or jock itch).
Risk of Radiation (X-Ray and Millimeter Wave)
The safety of full body scanners is still controversial. Only backscatter machines emit radiation, and the radiation is lower than x-ray machines. Millimeter Wave (MMW) machines do not emit ionizing radiation.
- All passengers have a personal (and unknown) tolerance to radiation, and also a lifetime radiation exposure limit. Radiation exposure accumulates during a lifetime - it never goes away. The term for this is bioaccumulation. These statements are universally accepted by researchers and medical professionals.
- The possible negative effects of a backscatter scan on an individual passenger can only be assessed if that passenger’s prior radiation exposure experience and their personal susceptibility to radiation damage is known.
- It is therefore impossible for anyone to state categorically that backscatter technology is safe for everyone.
- There have been no longitudinal studies done on backscatter technology to evaluate long-term health effects, especially on the elderly, children and pregnant women. This statement is universally accepted by researchers and medical personnel.
- The TSA full body scanning backscatter machines use a type of X-Ray usually filtered out in medical machines because they are so readily absorbed by the body. Dr. Peter Rez of the University of Arizona explains that the measure used to evaluate the backscatter machine is “effective dose” – a measure that weights internal organs more highly that the surface of the skin.
- “It is shown that the effective dose is highly dependent on image resolution (i.e. pixel size).The effective doses for personnel screening systems are unlikely to be in compliance with the American National Standards Institute standard NS 43.17 unless the pixel sizes are >4 mm. It is shown that the effective dose is highly dependent on image resolution (i.e. pixel size). The effective doses for personnel screening systems are unlikely to be in compliance with the American National Standards Institute standard NS 43.17 unless the pixel sizes are >4 mm.”
- Dr. John W. Sedat, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at University of California, states that it is very carefully documented that 5% of the population is more susceptible to radiation damage.
- This is corroborated by Dr. David Brenner, head of Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research. This 5% of the population is comprised of children and those people with gene mutations that are less able to repair x-ray damage to their DNA.
Further the machines are extremely mechanically complex and any error or failure could lead to an unintended very high dose of radiation. (Rebecca Smith-Bindman, M.D., Univ of California San Francisco ) Since the machines apparently do not check each dose nobody would know that the machines were giving each victim a carcinogenic dose. According to Skin Cancer Information Source, if a person burns easily in the sun or is prone to cancer or has skin cancer in his or her family, those individuals might be well advised to avoid the area within 2 yards of backscatter machine. That’s because radiation is being scattered out of the machine and may be leaking from behind it, unknown to the TSA agent. The TSA agent is also in danger of overexposure and the effect of X-Ray exposure is cumulative, so each dose gets a person closer to cancer and other illnesses that may not show.