TSA xray devices

TSA quietly replaces x-ray scanners at major airports with 'safer' devices... but moves the old machines to smaller cities Read

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2220673/TSA-quie

TSA quietly replaces x-ray scanners at major airports with 'safer' devices... but moves the old machines to smaller cities

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 12:33 EST, 20 October 2012 | UPDATED: 14:21 EST, 20 October 2012

The Transportation Security Administration has been quietly removing x-ray scanners from airports in major cities like New York, Los Angeles and Boston and replacing them with newer technology that experts believe is safer.

However, the TSA is not retiring the controversial backscatter x-ray machines, which some researchers say could cause cancer in up to 100 fliers a year. The devices are simply being moved to smaller airports.

The agency claims the change isn't because of safety or privacy concerns -- many fliers complained that the backscatter x-rays revealed blurred images of their naked bodies to TSA employees.

Quiet: The TSA claims that the withdrawl of backscatter x-ray machines from cities like Chicago, New York and Los Angeles was for the sake of 'efficiency' - not safety

Old and new: The backscatter x-ray machines (left) were quietly withdrawn from major airports by the TSA in favor of millimeter wave devices (right), which do not subject fliers to x-ray radiation
Authorities say the change is simply a matter of 'efficiency.'

ProPublica, an nonprofit organization specializing in investigative journalism, revealed that the TSA was taking the backscatter machines out of several major airports.

Those sites are: Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O'Hare, Orlando, Logan International in Boston and both John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia in New York.

The TSA will not reveal which airports the x-ray machines have been taken to. ABC News reports that they remain in use at other top airports across the country.

The replacement for the backscatter machines, which bounce low-level x-rays off each subject's body, are millimeter wave devices, which use radio waves similar to cell phones.