Friday, July 29, 2011
They have money to irradiate us...
TSA to continue using radiation-firing devices despite availability of safe alternative
Paul Joseph Watson
Even as the US economy teeters on the brink of default, the federal government has handed a $72 million dollar contract to defense contractor Lockheed Martin to install radiation-firing body scanners at 300 more airports across the east and central United States, despite the availability of devices that do not rely on radiation to function.
“Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has been awarded two regional task orders totalling $72 million to help TSA integrate and deploy new passenger screening and security equipment at airports across the east and central United States,” states the press release.
The defense contractor is virtually tied at the hip with the U.S. government, receiving tens of billions of dollars in contracts every year, and has a substantial lobbying budget which is used to support Congress members and Senators who “advocate national defense and relevant business issues.”
Despite the TSA’s recent announcement that it plans to install a “privacy friendly” software update that will dispense with images that show intricate details of a person’s naked body, the devices will continue to use radiation in order to function.
This is a completely unnecessary health risk given the fact that Sony Corporation is already using scanners that don’t rely on any form of energy being fired into the body to work, instead using “passive energy” to produce an image that also shows a generic outline of a person’s body.
In addition, Australian airports have begun trialing body scanning technology that neither emits any form of radiation, nor produces a naked image of the person passing through it.
The $72 million Lockheed Martin contract only mentions software upgrades to existing Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) devices, the company will not be developing body scanners that protect travelers from health threats that have been identified by numerous prestigious scientific bodies.
Numerous highly respected universities and health bodies, including Johns Hopkins, Columbia University, the University of California, and the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety, have all warned that the health threat posed by the scanners has not been properly studied and could lead to increased cancer rates.
Despite the TSA lying in claiming that Johns Hopkins had verified the safety of the scanners, Dr Michael Love, who runs an X-ray lab at the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at the Johns Hopkins school of medicine, has publicly warned that “statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays”.
A study conducted last year by Dr David Brenner, head of Columbia University’s center for radiological research, also found that the body scanners are likely to lead to an increase in a common type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma, which affects the head and neck.
As we reported earlier this month, leaked documents published by the Electronic Privacy Information Center revealed how TSA workers became concerned over a “cancer cluster” amongst screening agents at Boston Logan International Airport, and how the federal agency tried to cover-up the complaints.