The US Transport Security Administration might have been dosing passengers with higher than expected levels of radiation in the name of protecting them from terrorists.
Not satisfied with huge levels of security pat downs, seizing computers, demanding that you buy approved water for your flight, the US has decided it is better to be safe than sorry by exposing you to higher levels of radiation.
According to Wired, the TSA is re-analysing the radiation levels of X-ray body scanners installed in airports nationwide, after testing produced dramatically higher-than-expected results.
There are more than 500 body scanners to at least 78 airports and they have a “calculation error” which means that they are showing radiation levels 10 times higher than expected. The TSA say that you have nothing to fear, the radiation levels are still well below safety standards. However these are the same people who said they would not distribute naked pictures of you.
The Association for Airline Passenger Rights is urging the government to stop using the $180,000 machines that produce a virtual-nude image of the body until new tests are concluded in May.
The AAPR said that passengers were getting worried about the TSA’s haphazard security screenings so they are not sure that they can trust that they are not being exposed to unhealthy amounts of radiation.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has urged a federal appeals court to stop using the TSA from using the machines until further health studies are conducted.
The TSA said that it is not that the machines are belting out too much radiation. It is just that they were supposed to test radiation levels 10 times in a row, and divide by 10 to produce an average radiation measurement. Often, the testers failed to divide results by 10 which is why the figures are all wrong.
Of course airport security is getting increasingly bizarre as it becomes ineffective. After multiple security checks at three airports, we arrived in New Zealand to discover that the Italian Goddess had managed to take her pepper spray on as cabin luggage on three different flights.