Sunday, January 13, 2019

Airport body scanners can be health hazards

New Delhi: The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) expressed concerns over the health hazards of the full body scanner on trial at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).

The agency, in a recent meeting of high-level committee overseeing the trials, has appraised officials that scanner emits X rays which can lead to severe health complications including burns. Airport authorities said it was because of this reason that the scanner has not been accorded clearance even after being in trial for three years.

"The ionizing radiation released by the scanner is capable of damaging DNA and can lead to cancer. In very high doses, it can cause burns and even kill," said a CISF official who is part of the committee.

At present the airport is equipped with "improved metal detectors" which replaced conventional metal detectors in 2011. Heart patients and persons with pacemakers are frisked separately by the CISF personnel.

Two types of body scanners under consideration to be installed at the airport are millimeter-wave scanners and backscatter x-ray scanners. Millimeter-wave scanners use radio waves and produce no ionizing radiation while backscatter x-ray scanners use ionizing radiation in the form of very low-dose x-rays.
13/01/19 Kanika Mehta/India Today