Concern For Radiation Exposure Levels For Both The Public And
At least U.S. Congressman is asking TSA to release
inspection reports that show whether or not X-ray machines in
airports to screen passengers and bags are emitting levels of
radiation low enough to meet requirements. Congressman Ed Markey
(D-MA) requested that the DHS inspector general investigate this
issue because he is worried that TSA’s past in such matters
may unintentionally lead to radiation exposure for both TSA
employees as well as the general public. Markey is a member of the
House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
In 2003 and 2004, CDC airport workplace safety investigations
reported that while most radiation levels around baggage X-ray
machines were low, six out of 281 machines used to screen checked
luggage were in violation of federal radiation standards with some
emitting up to two or three times the limit.
The CDC also reported that TSA and its contractors did not
identify which machines were emitting too high of levels — an
overlook that has TSA workers and some members of Congress
concerned, especially in light of the TSA sending out hundreds of
radiation-emitting machines to aid in screening passengers that
have recently been the subject of much controversy.