Tuesday, December 07, 2010

More Reasons Not To Have Confidence In Anything the TSA Does

Ok, it's from USA Today, but still:

When investigators with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's workplace safety team visited a dozen airports in 2003 and 2004, what they found was disturbing — at least to federal airport workers.

Although most radiation levels around baggage X-ray machines were low, six of 281 machines used to screen checked luggage violated federal radiation standards, some emitting two or three times the allowed limit, the CDC found.

Perhaps most troubling, the CDC had found what the Transportation Security Administration hadn't noticed. The TSA and its contractors had failed to identify the machines that were emitting excessive radiation — a failure that continues to leave TSA workers and some lawmakers uneasy, especially as the agency continues to deploy hundreds of controversial radiation-emitting machines to help screen passengers...

Airport X-ray machines are exempt from the state radiation control inspections they would receive if installed at a local courthouse or in a non-federal office building.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn't routinely inspect airport X-ray machines either because they are not medical devices, said FDA spokesman Dick Thompson.

That leaves the TSA responsible for inspecting its own devices...

Rapiscan Systems, the company that makes the full-body backscatter X-ray scanners used by TSA, did not respond to interview requests.

The new full-body scanners have raised more concerns than the baggage X-ray machines, despite TSA and FDA assurances that they're safe.

David Brenner, director of Columbia University's center for radiological research, questions whether it's good public policy to give millions of people the backscatter scans — even if the health risk is remote.

Buffoons. All this, and they want to feel my stuff. These people deserve a march with torches and pitchforks.

No comments: