The European Union has decided to ban the airport body scanners that use x-ray technology to detect hidden weapons and contraband, according to a recent news report. The EU has established standards that will allow for the use of other body scanning equipment, as long as that equipment does not store images of the scans. These regulations will help protect both physical health and privacy.
TSA head John Pistole agreed earlier in November to a request by Susan Collins (R- Maine) to conduct another independent investigation of the safety of the x-ray scanners. Pistole has decided to forgo the independent investigation, citing the results of a Department of Homeland Security inspector general report. The TSA has a blog post on the safety of the scanner technology they use.
As part of the blog post, the TSA cites an news report that says drinking 3 glasses of water a day for a year exposes you to five times more radiation than an airport scanner, but ignores this letter from researchers urging President Obama to conduct and independent investigation.
What is lost in this discussion is whether the current mix of airport security screening is necessary and effective.