Senator: Put Bigger Health Warnings by Airport Scanners

Susan Collins wants more study into radiation concerns: ProPublica
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2011 4:30 PM CST
Sen. Susan Collins Wants TSA to Post Bigger Health Warning by Airport Body Scanners
A program analyst for the Transportation and Safety Administration demonstrates proper technique for a 'backscatter' scanning machine.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

Maine Senator Susan Collins wants the TSA to put more prominent health warnings near those big full-body scanners at airports, reports ProPublica. What she really wants is for the agency to conduct an independent study on the potential dangers posed by radiation, but because the TSA is balking, she'll take the warning signs for now. “I am disappointed that this simple precaution has not yet occurred,” she wrote to TSA chief John Pistole.

Collins, the top Republican on the Senate's homeland security panel, wants travelers—especially pregnant women—to know they can forego the scanner and have a patdown instead. Her letter comes after European officials banned the so-called "backscatter" machines out of fears that radiation emitted by them can cause cancer. Read the full ProPublica story on Collins' concerns here, or an earlier report on potential health risks here. (Read more Susan Collins stories.)

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