Manchester airport backs full body scanners

by Alister POOLE on November 17, 2011

Passenger body scanners that are currently being used by Manchester Airport will be the subject of tests from the European Commission - in order to assess whether or not they pose any health risks.

Manchester Airport has been trialling scatter body scanners as part of security checks ever since 2009. The north of England’s largest hub will continue using their scanners at the same time the European Commission’s tests are carried out.

Already, the UK Health Protection Agency has assessed that the scanners do pose “negligible” risks to health. The European Commission has halted any further trials of all scanners that use x-rays while its specialist health committee carries out tests. A report is expected in March 2012.

Until November next year, Manchester Airport has permission to continue the trial of the scanners. The scanners use low doses of x-rays as they scan through clothing and produce “naked” images of passengers. A single x-ray dose has already been assessed as the equivalent to what is received in under two minutes of flying at cruising height.

A spokesperson representing Manchester Airport said that extensive tests from the UK Health Protection Agency and US health authorities have confirmed that body scanners pose negligible risks to human health and it is irresponsible for anyone to suggest that passengers should have concerns because Europe is still yet to carry out and complete its own health studies.

{ 1 comment }

Wimpie November 18, 2011 at 5:34 am

Just as supposedly every passenger is at some risk of terrorist attack, if every passenger were also subject to a backscatter screening, then the actual risk of deaths by cancer means the machines are “deadlier than the terrorists.” (-Bruce Schneier)

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