Radiation Risks from Whole-Body Airport Scanners
May 1, 2012 - 9:24:51 AM
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - There has been considerable public concern expressed about the safety of whole-body scanners used at United States airports to screen travelers. John Moulder, Ph.D., professor and director of radiation biology at the Medical College, analyzed the available data and believes that while the machines most likely post a negligible radiation risk, concerns remain because of a lack of transparency and information regarding the scanners.
Dr. Moulder’s findings will be published in the May 2012 Radiation Research.
U.S. airports utilize two types of whole-body scanners for safety screening, a backscatter (X-ray) scanner and a millimeter-wave (radar) scanner. Information about the backscatter scanner, and the amount of radiation received per screening, is fairly easy to find; radiation exposure information and safety assessments of the millimeter-wave scanner, however, are not readily available to the public.
In his paper, Dr. Moulder addresses the public dislike and fear of the scanners, and concludes that a “veil of secrecy” contributes to that fear, as does misinformation propagated online. Dr. Moulder proposes independent review and regulation of the scanners, along with more publicly-accessible information. He also suggests more formal development of safety standards, and a better handling of risk perception issues.
Dr. Moulder will speak further on this topic at an upcoming public lecture sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Department of Physics at 8:00 p.m. on May 4, 2012.
# # #
About the Medical College of Wisconsin
The Medical College of Wisconsin is the state’s only private medical school and health sciences graduate school. Founded in 1893, it is dedicated to leadership and excellence in education, patient care, research and service. More than 1,200 students are enrolled in the Medical College’s medical school and graduate school programs. A major national research center, it is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro area and second largest in Wisconsin. In FY 2010 – 11, faculty received more than $175 million in external support for research, teaching, training and related purposes, of which more than $161 million is for research. This total includes highly competitive research and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Annually, College faculty direct or collaborate on more than 2,200 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,350 physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than 400,000 patients annually.
For advertising and promotion on HealthNewsDigest.com please contact Mike McCurdy: tvmike13@HealthNewsDigest.com or 877-634-9180
HealthNewsDigest.com is syndicated worldwide, to thousands of journalists and health-related websites. www.HealthNewsDigest.com
© Copyright by HealthNewsDigest.com