More doctors are sounding the alarm over the new full-body scanners becoming popular in airports.
Several doctors are expressing concerns that full-body scanners may indeed deliver a low level of energy as advertised — reportedly this is why they’re “safe” compared to X-ray machines — but they worry that all the energy becomes dangerously concentrated on and directly beneath the skin, particularly at the face and neck, delivering much more radiation to the traveler than previously thought.
The upshot: You may not get lung cancer from the machines, but your risk of skin cancer — particularly basal-cell carcinoma — could be significantly higher. In children, the impact may likely be even worse.
Columbia University’s David Brenner says that this effect of concentrating energy on the skin means that the level of radiation delivered is actually 20 times higher than official estimates.