Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

EPIC: Documents Show TSA Ignored Radiation Warnings

July 4, 2011 by  

EPIC: Documents Show TSA Ignored Radiation Warnings

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) recently announced that it has obtained documents from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which raise new questions about the safety of the TSA’s full-body scanners.

Among other things, the documents reportedly reveal that “(t)he DHS (Department of Homeland Security) has publicly mischaracterized the findings of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), stating that NIST ‘affirmed the safety’ of full body scanners. NIST stated that the Institute did not, in fact, test full body scanners for safety, and that the Institute does not do product testing.”

EPIC obtained the documents, which consist of “agency emails, radiation studies, memoranda of agreement concerning radiation testing programs, and results of some radiation tests,” through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed in July 2010 against the DHS. EPIC filed the lawsuit after several lawmakers questioned the safety of the scanners.

Epic said the documents also reveal that several studies offered safety warnings for airport screeners, and “TSA employees have identified cancer clusters allegedly linked to radiation exposure while operating body scanners and other screening technology. However, the agency failed to issue employees dosimeters — safety devices that would warn of radiation exposure.”

“Some news reports have raised questions about backscatter x-ray safety. The x-ray dose produced by backscatter systems is extremely low… In 17 minutes of ordinary living, a person receives more radiation from naturally occurring sources than from one scan,” a fact sheet available on the TSA’s website says. “While the radiation risk from backscatter x-ray screening is extremely low, passengers may choose to opt out of the screening.”



Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “EPIC: Documents Show TSA Ignored Radiation Warnings”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at

  • Cawmun Cents

    Wow….warrantless intrusion.Anyone…physically mauled,to protect certain people from profiling.BET YOU NEVER THOUGHT THAT POLITICAL CORRECTNESS COULD COME DOWN TO THIS,DID YOU?But your Freudian slip is showing.They are counting on you to go along to get along.One day you will see this on the streetcorner.People being patted down while the real culprits laugh from a coffee shop across the street.Do you have your papers in order(they will ask)?You will be subject to search,and bombs will be exploding nearby because they were concentrating on you,instead of that Arabic man who appeared to be vastly overweight for such skinny legs.”Well he did look like a Meso-American when we first glanced at him”,people will say.And the gubment gave him carte-blanche when he walked across the border wearing that bomb vest.But no worries mates….just keep getting patted down and being forcibly groped to move about the country.Be sure to have your politically correct attitude about it too.-CC.

    • wandamurline

      The criminals in America are laughing their butts off because they have more rights that the ordinary citizen. TSA can pull you from a line without probable cause, without mirandizing, search you and your possessions without a warrant, and without your legal right to counsel. Under our own very laws and the Constitution, TSA is overstepping, again, the role of government over the Constitution. When are the people being abused going to start suing the government over this? Start the law suits…overwhelm the government with sooo many that they cannot keep up. When you go to a dentist, they put a lead cover over you and the person steps out of the room and they are using very low radiation. This whole thing is out of control. Maybe this is the first step of downsizing the population and the radiation is making people sterile. I put nothing past this communist/socialist/marxists/government.

    • s c

      Actually, CC, you need to look at this in a different way. No matter what the scum in Washington say, we ARE being profiled. Some are profiled one way, and the rest are profiled in another fashion [Plan A and Plan B, if you need labels].
      I’d rather have an airport system that WORKS. The Israelis know how to do it right. Washington and TSA do not have a clue. The scummy bastards are making way too much money by being incompetent and treasonous. Think about it.

      • EddieW

        That’s the whole problem with radiation screening!! It don’t take much radiation to give you cancer of the thyroid!!! Even my Dentist protects me with a lead apron up around my throat!! YET…these believers in de population TSA purposly don’t care how many get cancer…it’s good for business at Big Pharma, and then will help de- populate the country!! TSA is the fore-runner of the coming Police State, and it will be far worse than Germany or Russia!!

        • Bus

          the TSA agents will all become sterile in short order.

        • Kate8

          The way safety is determined is by using the population as the test subjects.

          We’ve been experimented on since forever. You’ll notice that it’s only when drugs and devices have been out for a period of time that serious problems are shown to arise.

          We are nothing but cattle to the PTB.

      • http://Moreexpensive,moreunknowproblems. Lewis Munn

        I have already had a very large amount of radiation as an infant with an enlarged thymus, which was literally burned out of me by heavy radiation, which of course also hit my thyroid.

        Guess my next flights I will have to enjoy being groped, as I suspect the backscatter is going to be more radiation than my body can cope with! Am I allowed to ask for a beautiful lady with long fingers to grope me?

        The Israeli’s don’t seem to miss; we allow our TSA people are much stupider than Hebrews? Seems like an awful putdown to the capabilities of US security!

  • Dave Carr

    As a former TSA employee I can attest to the agencies refusal to issue its employess dosimeter badges. These were repeatedly asked for and refused. As a baggage screener, we felt that large items passing through the x-ray screener, compromised the lead curtains within the machine. A fellow employee was said to have smuggled a geiger counter in, placed it on the entrance shoot of the machine and found it to spike dangerously. Recently I was diagnosed with some odd thryoid problems, including nodules and some enlargement of the gland. Hmmm…did 3 years of exposure create this problem? If there are clusters or health issues to screeners, I’m sure the TSA will bury the findings and resist any research into the matter.

    • wandamurline

      Why should the TSA agents be protected and not the public? Seems to me someone should stop the process all together.

      • Libertarian

        100% right on! Now, who will do it? I can only see a couple of candidates: Ron Paul & his Democratic counterpart, Dave Kucinich!

        • http://Moreexpensive,moreunknowproblems. Lewis Munn

          I suspect the Government programmers already have the fixes in in all the computerized voting machines now, so no embarassing problems arise like in Nevada, requiring “repairs” while counting votes, to make the results come out as required.

  • TIME


    The effects are one point of light, the facts that this is not about what it was sold to you as, nor did YOU the TAX payer ever get a chance to vote or even have any form of input should WAKE you up to what our NAZI like government is up to, aka the NWO factor.

    If you think for one moment that this is not a NAZI like control format, your either 100% brain dead or just out right stupid. You choose your own lable.

    Any time you allow the government to strip you of your Libertys you deserve no libertys. No one can protect you from anything, your fate is your fate and No government can protect you from it.

    So Sheep what say you?
    Your fingers should be bleeding from all the Emails Fax’s and phone calls to your state reps, and complaining your butts off.

  • mrsgengiskhan

    xray me, xray me, xray me. a frequent flier.
    this is just another move to enslave our citizens. another foot in the door for socialism. we are at war with muslim terrorist, not American citizens, but who in govt will acknoledge that, no one.

  • Macawma

    I am about to fly out of the country…I am worried about what they will force me to undergo. I don’t even use a microwave because of irradiation, now they want me to go through this thing? What if I refuse? Will they make me strip down to my underwear? Should I put a burka on so they will let me pass through? Or should I eat lots of beans before I go so that if they pat me down I can make them suffer?

    • wandamurline

      I invested in my own plane…a small experimental (we made it) so we don’t have to endure this because I know I will get arrested at the airport…I know it before I go because I will not allow them to fondle me or radiate me…so I just stay away. If you have to go out of the country, there will be nothing you can do…either get radiated, or if you refuse, you will be hand gropped. If I personally had to endure it, I would load up on the beans and give it your best shot.

    • Barbara

      Eat the beans. LOL
      Seriously if you can fly from Canada. The US is the only stupid country that does this. The rest of the world laughs at us.

    • Libertarian

      Yes, follow all of those suggestions! & remember, if you fly anywhere else in the world they do NOT x-ray you! But you only find that out if you ever get to leave the land of the free…

    • http://Moreexpensive,moreunknowproblems. Lewis Munn

      Have fun. Paint your undies to look like the hanging of a bull! With small but very firm female breasts. And ask if you can’t be searched just a little more since it feels so good! Preferably in the places where they do it publicly!

  • a prole in Perris

    These machines are perfectly safe and harmless. Just like the 1978 swine flu vaccine was safe.

    • http://Moreexpensive,moreunknowproblems. Lewis Munn

      The most frightening words, “we’re here from the government to help you”

  • DonnaAngelStar

    Let’s do us and our constitution a big favor, abolish Homestead Security and the Patriot Act. Rein in TSA, the over zealous bigots.


    • Joey Biden

      You forgot to include: impeach Oblama and ALL of his cronies.

    • KM

      To DonnaAngelStar,
      It is the Dep’t. of Homeland (In)Security, just a small FYI. I hate to be uncompassionate as the Left always accuses conservatives of being, but my heart doesn’t bleed for the thug TSA agents being exposed to all that radiation.

      • http://Moreexpensive,moreunknowproblems. Lewis Munn

        Can we ask them to do it first to prove it does not hurt to have all those radiation bullets shooting through our flesh?

  • don

    After millions of fondlings and gropings, how many terrorists has TSA discovered? The only potential problems have been caught ON THE PLANES b other passengers after being OK’s by the friendly neighborhood groper. TSA is totally incompetent and our congress is aiding and abetting them in the rape of America. Toss them all out and start over. Does anyone think we could be any worse off? Defund the bastards and let some intelligent organization come up with a better program. Now they want to UNIONIZE! Organized incompetence is appalling – unionized incompetence will be unbearable. Anyone ever heard of the GESTOPO? They were not approved of by the populace either and look how far they got in destroying a nation.

  • TombstoneLizard

    This should not be news, since we have known for over a decade that cell phones can cause tumors; what has taken it so long to question these scanners? I am afraid to fly, and not because of potential terrorists, or even massive mechanical failure resulting in my death. What I fear is the imposition upon my freedom to choose both health and sanity: It is patently unhealthy to be scanned; and it is definitely insane to be treated like a potential terrorist by these pretenders of Law and Order.

  • Les

    The term Political Correctness came from the former Soviet Union where political correctness was voting for and following the Communist Party. Everything created since 9/11 has eroded our freedoms significantly. The Patriot Act rapes our Constitutionally guaranteed rights. We are supposed to be a Republic, this is what our founding fathers created. They did not create a democratic republic, this is a contradiction of terms. We gave this up when a handful of bankers created the Federal Reserve and the IRS. This was done on purpose to ruin the Republic and take control from “we the people” and give it to “them politicians”. Everyone needs to research the catastrophic difference between a Republic and a Democracy. And also realize that the two parties we have now do not support an actual Republic. Don’t let their names fool you.

  • JJM

    I refuse to fly unless absolutely necessary. Trains, busses and sporting events will be eliminated also. If I have to submit for Jury Duty – I guess I will have to decline to participate. At least in these instances you can opt for the unwarranted Grope.
    How can we avoid the unseen roaming vans? Here we are not offered an option but are unknowingly irradiated. Disable radiator and tires with fire-ax?
    And then we have Unwarranted Home Invasion where if you protect your castle you are subject to receiving dozens of bullets in reply!!
    We are no longer a Republic, and the Democracy is rapidly becoming an Oligarchy ruled by Tyrants!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • C130 Gunship

      JJM, I too have quit getting on planes since the TSA got up and going at Dallas/Ft. Worth airport. When they move to the train stations, bus stations, and other public modes of transportation, I won’t use them anymore, causing them to lose even more money. The Baby Boomer generation IS THE LAST generation in the USA to really know what liberty and freedoms is. Gen. X and Y (why do I have to get a job, why do I have to leave home, etc.) are being turned into sheeple and they don’t even see it happening to them. All I can say is welcome to massive Demopublican government. The Democrats want to take your money and spend it and the Republicans want to take your privacy and liberty and control your life. Both in the name of smaller, more effective government and your safety that’s doing what’s good for you and your country.

      We have crossed the threshold from prosperity to decadence – moral, cultural and financial. This will be the downfall of our great civilization. The most dangerous man is the one with nothing left to lose. Our government is making more of them everyday.

      Happy Independence Day to all, then again, independence from who and what????

  • hicusdicus

    Blah! blah! blah! and the show goes on.

  • lmtTexas

    lets all stay home and see how fast things change. United we stand and as long as we let them do it, they will. ONE NATION!!!

  • Raggs

    Maybe this is just a ploy to enable the TSA to touch little girls panties without being subjected to public dissent.

  • Jackie Knight

    This is about “nudging” the American people little by little with seizure of our freedoms. After enough of these seizures, there either won’t be any freedoms left to us or we will be so used to giving up our individual freedoms until the progressivew elites can simply make us live, speak, act, and even think as we’ll told.

    Does anyone know of any protests/rallies planned for Washington in the next several months? It might just be time for We The People to use some of the labor union tactics (modified to avoid violence, of course)to get the elitists’ attention

    • http://Moreexpensive,moreunknowproblems. Lewis Munn

      Too bad we canot get a sit-in setup whenever Obama’s flight is to land somewhere! Across the runway, so if he lands, he kills voters!

  • James

    All X-rays are harmful to our health. Those who take X-rays always don a lead apron and/or stand back, out of the way.

  • http://KDJonesConsulting,Inc. Nelson Jones

    With all the X-rays (chest, head,dental),CAT scans and aircraft engine scans done with Radium (major exposures)I have endured over the years.
    I will ask for rear end pats and crotch grabbing and other
    illegal searches TSA and DHS feel necessary to protect us from ourselves. BUT.. this time I will turn my head and cough.


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.