by Mike Adams
the Health Ranger
December 03, 2010
The news about the potential health dangers of
the TSA's naked body scanners just keeps getting worse.
An increasing number of doctors and scientists
are going public with their warnings about the health implications of
subjecting yourself to naked body scanners. These include Dr Russell
Blaylock (see below) as well as several professors from the University of
California who are experts in X-ray imaging.
At the same time, some internet bloggers are insisting that the TSA's naked
body scanners pose no health risks because air travelers are subjected to
higher levels of radiation by simply enduring high-altitude flights where
cosmic radiation isn't filtered out by the full thickness of the Earth's
This comparison, however, is inaccurate: The
TSA's body scanners focus radiation on the skin and organs near the skin
whereas cosmic radiation during high-altitude flights is distributed across
the entire mass of your body.
Comparing the total radiation exposure across your entire body to
machine-emitted radiation exposure that focuses its ionizing radiation
primarily on your skin is like comparing apples and oranges. You'll see this
explained further, below, in the words of these scientists.
Russell Blaylock recently reported:
The growing outrage over the Transportation
Security Administration's new policy of backscatter scanning of airline
passengers and enhanced pat-downs brings to mind these wise words from
President Ronald Reagan:
The nine most terrifying words in the
English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to
So, what is all the concern really about -
will these radiation scanners increase your risk of cancer or other
A group of scientists and professors from
the University of California at San Francisco voiced their concern to
Obama's science and technology adviser John Holdren in a well-stated
letter back in April.
The letter Dr Blaylock is referring to is from
the Faculty of the University of California, San Francisco and is signed by
Doctors John Sedat Ph.D., David Agard, Ph.D., Marc Shuman, M.D., Robert
Even though it was written in April of this year, this letter has received
increased publicity lately due to the TSA's sudden expansion of naked body
scanners in airports as well as the agency's arrogant insistence that such
machines will soon be used at bus stations, railway stations and other
entrance points for mass transportation.
In this NaturalNews article, I highlight the most important warnings from
this letter and explain, in plain language, what these scientists are trying
The letter that the
TSA doesn't want you to read
Once again, this letter was written by Drs John Sedat Ph.D., David
Agard, Ph.D., Marc Shuman, M.D., Robert Stroud, Ph.D., all
from the University of California.
Here is their background as described in the letter:
Dr. Sedat is a Professor Emeritus in
Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San
Francisco, with expertise in imaging. He is also a member of the
National Academy of Sciences.
The other cosigners include Dr Marc Shuman,
and internationally well known and respected cancer expert and UCSF
professor, as well as Drs David Agard and Robert Stroud, who are UCSF
Professors, X-ray crystallographers, imaging experts and NAS members.
Here are the highlights of the letter along with
my comments and explanations:
"We are writing to call your attention to
serious concerns about the potential health risks of the recently
adopted whole body backscatter X-ray airport security scanners. This is
an urgent situation as these X-ray scanners are rapidly being
implemented as a primary
screening step for all air travel passengers."
Translation: The naked body scanners may be dangerous to your health.
"Our overriding concern is the extent to which the safety of this
scanning device has been adequately demonstrated. This can only be
determined by a meeting of an impartial panel of experts that would
include medical physicists and radiation biologists at which all of the
available relevant data is reviewed."
Translation: The safety of these naked
body scanners has never been demonstrated, and especially not by an
independent panel of qualified scientists.
"The physics of these X-rays is very
telling: the X-rays are Compton-Scattering off outer molecule bonding
electrons and thus inelastic (likely breaking bonds)."
Translation: The ionizing radiation
emitted by these devices can alter your DNA.
"Unlike other scanners, these new devices operate at relatively low beam
energies (28keV). The majority of their energy is delivered to the skin
and the underlying tissue. Thus, while the dose would be safe if it were
distributed throughout the volume of the entire body, the dose to the
skin may be dangerously high."
Translation: The danger of these devices is significantly higher than
what might be assumed from the TOTAL radiation emissions. This is why
those who claim "you get more radiation just from flying" are flat-out
wrong in their conclusions.
"This comparison is very misleading: both the air travel cosmic ray
exposure and chest X-rays have much higher X-ray energies and the health
consequences are appropriately understood in terms of the whole body
volume dose. In contrast, these new airport scanners are largely
depositing their energy into the skin and immediately adjacent tissue,
and since this is such a small fraction of body weight/volume, possibly
by one to two orders of magnitude, the real dose to the skin is now
Translation: This is a further explanation of why the ionizing
radiation from the naked body scanners may pose a much higher risk of
cancer (two orders of magnitude higher!) than what might be assumed from
the total radiation emissions.
"In addition, it appears that real independent safety data do not exist.
A search, ultimately finding top FDA radiation physics staff, suggests
that the relevant radiation quantity, the Flux [photons per unit area
and time (because this is a scanning device)] has not been
characterized. Instead an indirect test (Air Kerma) was made that
emphasized the whole body exposure value, and thus it appears that the
danger is low when compared to cosmic rays during airplane travel and a
chest X-ray dose.
In summary, if the key data (flux-integrated photons per unit values)
were available, it would be straightforward to accurately model the dose
being deposited in the skin and adjacent tissues using available
computer codes, which would resolve the potential concerns over
Translation: The FDA screwed up the safety testing (gee, really?) by
assuming the emitted radiation was distributed across the entire body
rather than focused on the skin.
It brings up the question:
When and how were these devices ever
approved by the FDA anyway? Naked body scanners are clearly "medical
devices" as they emit X-rays that penetrate body tissue.
Did the FDA ever conduct long-term
clinical trials demonstrating the safety of these devices? (Of
Did they ever test the safety of naked
body scanners on pregnant women?
What about senior citizens?
How about people who have already
undergone radiation treatments for conditions like thyroid cancer?
Ten big concerns voiced by
Here are ten additional concerns raised by these scientists in their letter:
Cancer in senior citizens
The large population of older travelers,
greater than 65 years of age, is particularly at risk from the
mutagenic effects of the X-rays based on the known biology of
A fraction of the female population is
especially sensitive to mutagenesis-provoking radiation leading to
breast cancer. Notably, because these women, who have defects in DNA
repair mechanisms, are particularly prone to cancer, X-ray
mammograms are not performed on them. The dose to breast tissue
beneath the skin represents a similar risk.
White blood cells being irradiated
Blood (white blood cells) perfusing the
skin is also at risk.
HIV and cancer patients
The population of immunocompromised
individuals - HIV and cancer patients (see above) is likely to be at
risk for cancer induction by the high skin dose.
Radiation risk to children
The risk of radiation emission to
children and adolescents does not appear to have been fully
The policy towards pregnant women needs
to be defined once the theoretical risks to the fetus are
Because of the proximity of the
testicles to skin, this tissue is at risk for sperm mutagenesis.
Radiation effects on cornea and thymus
Have the effects of the radiation on the
cornea and thymus been determined?
Problems with the machine
There are a number of 'red flags'
related to the hardware itself. Because this device can scan a human
in a few seconds, the X-ray beam is very intense. Any glitch in
power at any point in the hardware (or more importantly in software)
that stops the device could cause an intense radiation dose to a
single spot on the skin.
Translation: This machine does not emit a "flood light" of
radiation like you might get from a dental X-ray machine. Rather,
this machine emits a thin, narrow beam of radiation that is quickly
"scanned" across your body, back and forth, in much the same way
that an inkjet printer prints a page (but a lot faster). Because the
angle of the X-ray beam is controlled by the scanner software, a
glitch in the software could turn the naked body scanner into a
high-energy weapon if the beam gets "stuck" in one location for more
than a fraction of a second.
Higher radiation for the groin?
Given the recent incident (on December
25th, 2009), how do we know whether the manufacturer or
TSA, seeking higher resolution, will scan
the groin area more slowly leading to a much
higher total dose?
None of these ten concerns are being answered by
the TSA and its head
The attitude from the TSA on these scanners, in
fact, is downright belligerent, treating Americans as terrorists and
threatening to arrest and detain individuals who refuse to be scanned and
The TSA, it seems, believes it can do no wrong.
Such is the inevitable outcome of granting too
much power to any government department, as it will always seek to expand
its power to the point of tyranny over the People.
Dangerous errors are
In this letter, these scientists go on to explain why they continue to hold
We would like to put our current concerns
As longstanding UCSF scientists and
physicians, we have witnessed critical errors in decisions that have
seriously affected the health of thousands of people in the United
States. These unfortunate errors were made because of the failure to
recognize potential adverse outcomes of decisions made at the federal
Crises create a sense of urgency that frequently leads to hasty
decisions where unintended consequences are not recognized. Examples
include the failure of the CDC to recognize the risk of blood
transfusions in the early stages of the AIDS epidemic, approval of drugs
and devices by the FDA without sufficient review, and improper standards
set by the EPA, to name a few.
Similarly, there has not been sufficient review of the intermediate and
long-term effects of radiation exposure associated with airport
scanners. There is good reason to believe that these scanners will
increase the risk of cancer to children and other vulnerable
We are unanimous in believing that the potential health consequences
need to be rigorously studied before these scanners are adopted.
Modifications that reduce radiation exposure need to be explored as soon
In summary we urge you to empower an impartial panel of experts to
reevaluate the potential health issues we have raised before there are
irrevocable long-term consequences to the health of our country.
These negative effects may on balance far
outweigh the potential benefit of increased detection of terrorists.
Translation: These scientists believe that the TSA's naked body
scanners pose a risk of promoting cancer across the population and that
a real, scientific evaluation by trained, independent scientists must be
conducted before these scanners are put to further use.
Big Government says:
The TSA, of course, refuses to hold any serious discussion about the science
behind its use of naked body scanners... primarily because there is no
legitimate science backing the use of its naked body scanners.
This whole scam was orchestrated by
Chertoff and his Washington buddies to
scare the population into accepting X-ray scans at airports so that a few
rich white guys could cash in on the sale of these machines to the federal
The whole thing is a massive con job that, as usual, benefits the bank
accounts of a few well-connected power pushers while compromising both the
freedoms and the health of the American people.
No legitimate safety testing has ever been conducted on these naked body
scanners, and yet
the FDA and TSA just allow them to be
rolled out on the ASSUMPTION that they must somehow be perfectly safe.
(The same is true with seasonal flu
vaccines, by the way, which are never tested in randomized,
placebo-controlled clinical trials.)
Isn't this how
aspartame got legalized, come to think of
it? Except in that case it was
Rumsfeld, not Chertoff, calling
You can't have
nutrition, but we'll feed you X-rays!
Think about what's happening here for a minute:
The FDA is an agency that has gone out and
threatened, raided and persecuted manufacturers of walnuts,
cherries and green tea products who made scientifically
validated health claims about the benefits of those products.
And yet, when it comes to rolling out naked
body scanners that pose a cancer risk to the population, the FDA
requires no legitimate scientific testing whatsoever and simply rubber
stamps the whole project, thereby subjecting virtually the entire
population to radiation-emitting devices with an unknown level of health
But then again, what do they care if a few
thousand people get cancer anyway?
More cancer just means more profits
cancer industry which, not coincidentally,
just happens to treat its patients with yet more radiation as some sort of
"therapy" for cancer. (I know, this just gets more bizarre the further you
Big Pharma must love the fact that millions
of Americans are now being subjected to yet another form of ionizing
radiation, as that means more cancer patients to buy chemotherapy in the
years ahead, too.
Pile 'em in, Chief! We've got more cattle to
The craziest part of
But the really crazy part about this whole story is not that the scientists
are concerned about the health risks of these naked body scanners.
It's not that the TSA is, itself, a terrorist
organization now generating more fear and terror than the international
terrorists could ever hope to accomplish. It's not even the fact that the
FDA allows these radiation machines to be widely used across the country
despite the fact that they've never been honestly and scientifically tested
for use on humans.
No, the real shocker in all this is the startling fact that people are
lining up like cattle to go along with this. Your average American citizen,
it seems, just can't wait to bow down to authority and subject their private
body parts to a federal search in complete violation of their Constitutional
The American education system, it seems, has successfully produced a race of
wage slaves who utterly fail to ask intelligent questions or stand up for
their own rights. I guess that's the result of all the revisionist history
being taught in public schools these days, where children are taught that
Christopher Columbus is a national hero and that the government always tells
By the way, this reminds me to mention one of the most eye-opening books you
will ever read. It's called
Lies the Government Told You - Myth, Power, and
Deception in American History by Judge Andrew Napolitano
If you're not one of the Sheeple, and you think
for yourself, and you have come to the realization that practically
everything you were taught about history in the public schools was a
complete fabrication, then you will definitely enjoy this book.
It's written by one of the most knowledgeable
and intelligent Constitutional scholars you'll ever encounter, and its
sections on the Fourth Amendment are especially relevant to what's happening
today with the TSA.
In fact, come to think of it, Judge Napolitano recently appeared on the
Alex Jones Show to talk about the freedom issues with the naked body
scanners and obscene gropes.
Watch below video, it's a very educational interview:
Judge Andrew Napolitano
"It's Time to Change
November 23, 2010
Naked body scanners
pose a cancer risk
But getting back to the health issue in particular, it is clear to anyone
who understands the laws of physics that the TSA's naked body scanners
create an increased risk of cancer to the population.
That's why I had the sense to refuse to go through one of these when
directed to do so at a California airport. I opted out and went through the
"easy" pat down (the easy version, before they upgraded to
As of right now, I refuse to fly until the TSA backs off its naked body
Not only do I refuse to subject my biology to
ionizing radiation that carries an unknown cancer risk, but I also strongly
object to the U.S. government violating my Constitutional rights by viewing
the shape of my naked body on their electronic viewing screens.
Who are the real
terrorists? The TSA
Another thing that has become abundantly clear in all this is that the real
terror threat is the TSA itself.
"Terrorism" is defined as using fear to achieve
a political purpose. I can't think of a better example of that than the TSA
and its fear-mongering campaign engineered to justify its huge
power-grabbing expansion of personnel and authority. This is a government
agency that had fewer than 200 employees a few years ago but now directs
over 60,000 agents (it's like a whole new army of domestic secret police).
Another obvious "a-ha" moment in all this comes when you realize that air
travelers are far more afraid of the TSA than any terror threat.
chances of being killed by a terrorist on an air flight in America are so
low that you probably have a greater chance of being struck by lightning
right smack in the center of your butt crack while doing a yoga pose in a
And yet, your chances of being molested by the
TSA are orders of magnitude higher, and everyone who stands in line at a
security checkpoint is thinking, in the back of their minds,
"Oh God, I hope
they don't single me out for an obscene pat down."
The fact that this thought appears in your head (and admit it, it does)
should be a huge red flag that
you now live in a police state. People who
live in truly free societies do not fret over being molested by their own
government security agents.
Think about it:
The way you and I feel in a TSA security line in many way
reflects a small part of the way a Jewish citizen must have felt in Germany,
in the 1930's, when a Nazi party member knocked on their door and demanded
to see their papers.
You never know:
Terrorism hinges on the ability of those in
power to leverage fear in order to achieve their political goals. And
right now, that seems to be a word-for-word blueprint for what the TSA
is doing to the American people.
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
And Winston Churchill famously said:
"If you will not fight for the right when
you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your
victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when
you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small
chance of survival.
There may even be a worse case: you may have to
fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish
than to live as slaves."