The body scanners emit about 0.15 microsieverts of radiation per scan. This dose is equivalent to the radiation a person would be exposed to in two minutes of flying in an airplane, the TSA said.
The health effects of such small radiation doses are still uncertain. "We're sort of in this very large gray area," said Dr. Jacqueline Williams, a radiation expert at the University of Rochester in New York. Though Williams said in a previous interview the effects to an individual passenger are likely negligible .
Even collecting information on how much radiation airport screeners are exposed to still won't tell us whether they may suffer health consequences, Williams said. However, she agreed that personal dosimeters for airport screeners should still be used, adding the TSA should know exactly what doses of radiation are involved.
Pass it on: Airport security screeners may start wearing devices to monitor their exposure to radiation.
- 10 Do's and Don'ts to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
- Infographic: How Radiation Affects the Human Body
- Airport Body Scanners Mostly Safe for Travelers, Experts Say