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Skin cancer a real risk from airport radiation scanning

“While the dose would be safe if it were distributed throughout the volume of the entire body, the dose to the skin may be dangerously high,

Airport scanners may pose risk to skin –   Kelly Brewington, Meredith Cohn and Andrea K. Walker – baltimoresun.com, 18 Nov 10, The new body scanners at U.S. airports are getting a lot of attention for how much they show of the human body, but doctors are saying there’s another problem: The radiation ticks up the chance of developing skin cancer.

In an interview with Agence France Presse, Dr. Michael Love, who runs an X-ray lab at the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said, “They say the risk is minimal, but statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays.”Travelers have the option of going through the scanner or getting a full-body pat down. But given the time constraints it’s not clear how many people will opt for that.

A Sun Sentinel story that rounds up Love’s and others’ comments, quotes scientists and doctors concerned about the screening because so many people use the nation’s airports. That story quotes scientists with the University of California at San Francisco who wrote a letter to the White House Office of Science and Technology in April raising concerns.

“While the dose would be safe if it were distributed throughout the volume of the entire body, the dose to the skin may be dangerously high,” said the letter, adding that “independent safety data do not exist” and raising the potential for further harm if a high dosage was accidentally emitted.”…

Picture of Health: Airport scanners may pose risk to skin – Health care, wellness, food nutrition, exercise, medical research news by reporters Kelly Brewington, Meredith Cohn and Andrea K. Walker – baltimoresun.com

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November 19, 2010 - Posted by | health, USA | , , ,

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