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You know those back-scatter full-body scanners that the TSA started mounting in airports a couple of years back? They're totally safe. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the folks at Johns Hopkins vouched for that. Yeah, well, about that...upon further reflection (and documents obtained in a FOIA by the Electronic Privacy Information Center), it appears that our government may have slightly exaggerated.
Who'd have guessed? Apparently, some TSA workers have developed concerns, along with other stuff that begins with the letter "C": Fearful of provoking further public resistance to naked airport body scanners, the TSA has been caught covering up a surge in cases of TSA workers developing cancer as a result of their close proximity to radiation-firing devices, perhaps the most shocking revelation to emerge from the latest FOIA documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
After Union representatives in Boston discovered a “cancer cluster” amongst TSA workers linked with radiation from the body scanners, the TSA sought to downplay the matter and refused to issue employees with dosimeters to measure levels of exposure.
The documents indicate how, “A large number of workers have been falling victim to cancer, strokes and heart disease.”
In erroneously citing both NIST and the Johns Hopkins school of medicine to claim that the body scanners are safe, the TSA has also deliberately misled the public on the dangers posed by the devices.
Documents obtained by EPIC show that, far from affirming their safety, NIST warned that airport screeners should avoid standing next to full body scanners in order to keep exposure to harmful radiation “as low as reasonably achievable.”
Obviously, it's just a simple misunderstanding.