What price will the United States pay in the name of security? A PBS NewsHour investigation published earlier this month reported that as many as 100 Americans could develop cancer each year due to radiation emitted by full-body X-ray scanners, which continue to pop up en masse at airports across the US.
One of the most important principles of radiation safety is that X-ray machines should only be used when there's a clear medical benefit. But now backscatter X-ray machines are found throughout America's airports. How did we get here?
The first X-ray machines needed patients to sit still for well over an hour, they doused people with 1500 times the amount of radiation as today's machines, and the pictures were fuzzy at best. But they were still absolutely amazing.
We know flying in December is a pain, but no matter how rushed you are to catch your flight, I just don't understand how someone could accidentally place their baby through the airport X-ray machine. Yet that's what happened at LAX when a grandmother sent her month-old grandson for a ride on the airport's conveyor…