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Whole body scan at the airport June 20, 2008

Posted by tomography in Off Topic.

TSA millimeter scanners

Next time you are flying to a conference make sure to keep an eye out for yet another technological wonder near you: whole body scanners have already been installed at 10 major U.S. Airports! Unfortunately, these won’t find enlarged lymph nodes, nor will they tell the security guard whether you have scoliosis, but then again, he would care very little about that. He would be much more interested instead in whatever you are hiding under your clothes. With these so called millimeter scanners it is literally possible to look under someone’s clothes! Freaky, isn’t it?

As far as the technology behind it, I could not find any explanations about it anywhere except for this:

  • “The scanners bounce harmless ‘millimeter waves’ off passengers…”
  • “You can actually see the sweat on someone’s back…”
  • The scanners do a good job seeing under clothing but cannot see through plastic or rubber materials that resemble skin…”

That is not a thorough explanation, but it is scary. Especially if you read that these will eventually replace metal detectors.

I don’t know about you, but I would rather see more effort put into medical imaging.

Further reading:

– Andras



1. Dalya - April 16, 2009

is this millimeter scanners safe for pregnant women? isis x-ray radiation or electromegnatic waves?

thank you

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