Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Woman Has Miscarriage After Going Through TSA Backscatter

LaTi reports:
Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican senator who has long questioned the safety of the scanners that use so-called backscatter technology to detect objects hidden under passengers' clothes.

Collins said she was motivated to introduce the bill by the daughter of a constituent who had a miscarriage after undergoing an airport security screening.

"We will never know for certain the cause of this family’s loss," Collins said in a statement. "But they believe in their hearts the backscatter is to blame."...

In statements to congressional panels over the last few months, Pistole has changed his position several times on whether further tests are needed. Most recently, he said he is open to another independent study.

The TSA employs two types of scanners at about 100 of the nation's airports.

With the backscatter technology, the scanners emit low-levels of X-rays on the passenger. The machines collect the rebounding radiation to create an image of what is under the passenger's clothing. The TSA also employs scanners that use non-ionizing radio frequency energy, known as millimeter waves, to create the image.

The European Union in November banned the machines that use the backscatter technology at European airports over concerns that they might be linked to cancer.
Going through a bakscatter machine is dumber than owning muni bonds right now.


  1. Remind me, what's the point of these machines?

    When I'm waiting in line at the security check point, I always make it a point to tell those around me that they don't have to go through the scanners. If I saw a pregnant woman in line, I'd be sure to tell her and that goes doubly so now. It's surprising the number of people who don't know you can opt out. Granted, getting groped by the TSA's goon squad isn't a great option either but IMHO it beats getting unnecessarily irradiated.

    I hope this story gains legs and brings this whole experiment in security theater to a swift end.

  2. As well as microwaving your food. Check out for details.

  3. These backscatter scanners are criminal. Just because everyone isn't getting sick or isn't developing cancer or isn't impaired by them in some way is not enough of a reason to dismiss their perils. The TSA can't get away with dusky and dubious logic that they are okay. And proving their harm is not easy. How does one attribute a cancer that develops 3 or 6 months later to a few seconds of full exposure to backscatter radiation. Some even claim that radiation is good for us. It could be, but in what doses and of which kind? Natural radiation--good; TSA toxin, bad. But whether it is the TSA, the Chertoffs, or the Guilianis of the world, they will always use the plausible deniability non-alibi alibi. They can always claim, "Hey, we do offer passengers a choice." Some choice. Have a uniformed stranger slide his/her hands up in your business methodically and thoroughly which only prolongs the process. This to me is symbolic of that class warfare by the political elite who are hellbent on hurting the middle class. Yeah, freedom never rang so clear as a government hand up your ass.

  4. Can you imagine in a hospital, with DOCUMENTED safe x-ray machines with YEARS of testing and follow-up data, a doctor blithely ordering an x-ray for NO life-or-death medical reason, for a PREGNANT woman!!!

    They call that MALPRACTICE!! and if she miscarries, perhaps manslaughter!

    USA is toast, my friends, at least the USA we thought existed.

    1. Great point. My sister was pregnant at the time when there was no opt-out. She was a very frequent traveller, so they shuffled her through one of the first backscatters without any option. Without explaining what it was. It's absolutely infuriating.

      She went for the structured molestation from that point on, but it still makes me irate they put her through one. I also very much hate the molestation.

  5. I flew out of LAX last week and the TSA agent actually told me NOT to go through the body scanner. I was opting out anyway but when I said "opt out" he said "do you fly a lot?" I replied, "yes, at least once a week." He said "oh yeah, then don't go through those things" and he pointed to the scanner. "don't go through those." He repeated.

    Very refreshing to hear the truth. They also told me I didn't have to have the full body pat down as a result of opting out. (I get harassed every single time I fly so I considered this my lucky day).

    1. From this list of comments, I am Anonymous @ 2pm on 2/1. I went through scanner back in early December. I've been sick ever since. 10 minutes after passing through the scanners, waiting at a seat near my assigned gate, I became extremely weak. I flew out of the country, a 13-hour flight. During that flight, my left ankle began pulsating involuntarily for 2 unchecked minutes. The pulse was deep from inside the marrow. It felt like one of those TENS machines turned up all the way. It scared the hell out of me. The next day, while on vacation, the same involuntary pulsation occurred again, this time for under 2 minutes. My doctor tells me to keep my legs elevated. That means I'm on my back. I'm fucked. My leg has turned deep brown, the color of a diabetic's leg with "venous stasis dermatitis" if you prefer the medical industrial complex jargon. If anyone can send reliable resources on how to treat TSA backscanner radiation . . . . I don't know.

  6. Collins likes to take sides on issues like this so she can cover up the awful bills she's supported in the past.