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SCANNER COMPARISON

ANCHOR LEAD: SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED ABOUT X-RAY EXPOSURE FROM AIRPORT SCANNERS?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

In the wake of data demonstrating an increased cancer risk from cumulative exposure to x-rays used in many types of medical studies, should consumers be concerned about backscatter radiation systems used to screen travelers at airports?  Mahadevappa Mahesh, chief physicist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, says no.

MAHESH:  We normally give a comparison to a medical chest x-ray.  So if we compare the radiation dose from one of these full body scanners which is a back scatter x-ray scanner to the  medical chest x-ray the turnaround number is one needs to go nearly 1000 to 2000 of these full body scans before they get a dose equal to one medical chest x-ray.                 :26

Mahesh points out that there is more radiation exposure from simply flying at 30,000 feet than in many of these scans.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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