ANCHOR LEAD: DO YOU NEED TO WORRY ABOUT WHOLE BODY SCANS AT AIRPORTS? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Add to all the worries about air travel the concern that some whole body scanners, which President Obama is calling for to improve airport security, may expose people to excess radiation. Mahadevappa Mahesh, chief physicist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, says these scanners shouldn’t be worrisome.
MAHESH: There are two types of full body scanners currently being used in the airports. One is called a millimeter radio wave technology which does not use x-rays. The second one is a back scatter technology which uses x-rays. When we examine the radiation dose in these types of scanners the radiation dose is very, very small. Data at the very dose level is so murky right now we don’t have any evidence of any increased risk from these. :29
Mahesh says that when weighed against the potential impact of a terrorist attack, the risk benefit ratio argues clearly for use of the scanners. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.