Travel Body Scanners at Airports

Nov. 19, 2010

The security agency for the U.S. airports began using the newly installed body scanner devices this past week. Whether or not they’re useful to detect certain materials that will protect passengers, remains questionable. Some scientist have stated there is a high potential for basil cell carcinoma (skin cancer), particularly for frequent flyers and children. It’s recommended to give this some thought before participating.
The other options are the metal detector and personal pat-downs. Whatever security procedure is used, either nude scanner pictures or pat-downs are involved before many U.S. travelers are allowed on planes. The choice of security measure used is at the discretion of the technician screening the traveler at the time.
Total travelers each month in 2008 averaged approx. 72 million domestic and international.

The total number of travelers hiding an explosive material each month is 0.

The total number of flights per month is approx. one million, primarily within the U.S.

Total number of explosive materials found on board airplanes per month is 0.

It’s been reported that the cost of each body scanner is 136,500 dollars, with additional costs of training and salaries, to include also, lawsuits against the transportation security for privacy and health violations.

Security claimed last year that the machines can neither store nor transmit the images, but officials later admitted that the agency required manufacturers to include those functions for testing, training and evaluation purposes. Therefore, all the naked images of travelers who are screened by the x-ray detector devices can be saved in a database, the extent of which depends on the computer program installed.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed a lawsuit demanding a federal judge to put a stop on the transportation security’s scanning program. The group’s director said, “This is the dept of homeland sec. subjecting every U.S. traveler to an intrusive search that can be recorded without any suspicion”.

X-ray screeners use  ‘focused ionized’ radiation, the effects of which are unknown, particularly for pregnant women and children. The natural type of radiation travelers are exposed to on airplanes is ‘diffuse’. Diffuse radiation is less adverse in comparison to focused and is contrary to the claim a head official made in the media when he stated that the radiation level received during screening (focused) was the same as two minutes in an airplane (diffuse).

Radiation damage is cumulative and each successive dose builds on the cellular mutation caused by the last. The dose may be up to twenty times higher than first estimated. The opinion of many scientists states that the scanner radiation has been under-estimated. Can we measure the risk of a possible terrorist attack against that of basal cell carcinoma and leukemia? It can take years for radiation damage to manifest pathology; damage and alterations to the dna structure is also in question, as well as causing infertility for generations. Scanners used at the airport specifically focus on the skin and muscle tissue immediately beneath the skin which would include tiny and small blood vessels.

Neither the liquid material of flight 253, nor the December ’09 powder form are likely to be detected by the new x-ray scanners. There is no longer any way possible that anyone can travel by airplane in a safe and dignified manner without getting personally violated. Physical and emotional injury is of a magnitude that far outweighs the reality of the situation, to include also the injurious expense on tax dollars requires further investigation.

The manufacturer of the scanner devices that have been installed is none other than a head person of the security organization itself which causes the sale and purchase aspect strongly appear as a ‘conflict of interest’ and reason enough to consider other options and alternatives.  The full-body scanners appear to have been a derivative product hedged as a future contract by a member in a position of authority in a department of the same government at the time of agreement. This scanning program has the capacity to compile an enormously massive database of very personal profiles on a daily basis very similar to models that have already been in use in penitentiaries.

The potential risk for adverse effects to skin tissue, and the vascular and muscular systems directly beneath the skin, are high; not only in the immediate sense, but effects that extend far into the future due to a latency period. Radiation exposure may cause any number of various kinds of disabilities.


Why We Need Sleep

Sleep-deprived people who are tested by using a driving simulator or by performing a hand-eye coordination task perform as badly as, or worse than, those who are intoxicated. Sleep deprivation also magnifies alcohol’s effects, so a fatigued person who drinks will become much more impaired than someone who is well rested. Drowsiness is the brain’s last step before falling asleep; driving while drowsy can, and often does, lead to disaster. Caffeine and other stimulants cannot overcome the effects of severe sleep deprivation.
 Some studies suggest that sleep deprivation affects the immune system in detrimental ways. Some experts believe sleep gives neurons used while we are awake a chance to shut down and repair themselves. Without sleep, neurons may become so energy depleted and polluted with byproducts of normal cellular activities, they begin to malfunction. Sleep also may give the brain a chance to exercise important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate from lack of activity. While rats normally live for two to three years, those deprived of REM sleep survive only about 5 weeks on average, and rats deprived of all sleep stages live only about 3 weeks.
Getting too little sleep creates a “sleep debt,” which is much like being overdrawn at a bank. Eventually, the body demands that the debt be repaid. We don’t seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need; while we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are still impaired. Infants generally require 16 hours daily, and teenagers require nine. Most adults generally need 7 to 8 hours every night

Many of the body’s cells show increased production and reduced breakdown of proteins during deep sleep. Proteins are the building blocks needed for cell growth and for repair of damage from factors like stress and ultraviolet rays. The deep sleep stage may help people maintain optimal emotional and social functioning when awake. Like deep sleep, rem sleep is associated with increased production of proteins. People taught a skill and then deprived of non-rem sleep had recall of it after sleeping, while people deprived of rem sleep didn’t have recall.   




We spend nearly all of our sleep time in stages 1, 2, and REM. The first rem sleep period usually occurs 1 to 1½ hours after falling asleep. A complete sleep cycle takes on the average of 100 mins. The first sleep cycles each night contain relatively short rem periods and long periods of deep sleep. As the night progresses, rem sleep periods are longer while deep sleep is shorter. When awakened after sleeping more than a few minutes, we are usually unable to recall the last few minutes before having fallen asleep. This is why we often don’t remember the alarm going off in the morning if we go right back to sleep after turning it off.
Caffeinated drinks and drugs such as diet pills and decongestants stimulate some parts of the brain and can cause an inability to sleep referred to as “insomnia”. Many antidepressants suppress the ability to experience rem

circadian rhythm

sleep in the natural manner. Different neurotransmitter signals in the brain have an influence on sleep and wakefulness and foods and medicines that change the balance of these signals affect the quality of sleep. Neurons in the brainstem, which connects the brain with the spinal cord, produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine that keep some parts of the brain active while we are awake. Other neurons at the base of the brain begin signaling when we fall asleep and appear to “switch off” the awake signals. Stages 1 through 4 and REM (rapid eye movement) progress in a cycle then the cycle starts over again with stage 1.

Suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN (biological clock), is a pair of pinhead-sized brain structures that together contain about 20,000 neurons and rests in a part of the brain, the hypothalamus directly above the optic nerve. Light that reaches photoreceptors in the retina (a tissue at the back of the eye) creates signals that travel along the optic nerve to the SCN structures. Signals from the SCN travel to several brain regions, including the pineal gland, which responds to light-induced signals by switching off production of the hormone melatonin. The body’s level of melatonin normally increases after darkness falls causing drowsiness. The SCN also governs functions that are synchronized with the sleep/wake cycle such as body temperature, hormone secretion, urine production, and blood pressure.






Workers on 3rd shift have an increased risk of heart problems, digestive disturbances, and emotional and mental problems, all of which may be related to their sleeping schedules. The number and severity of workplace accidents also tend to increase during the night shift. Major industrial accidents attributed partly to errors made by fatigued night-shift workers; three mile isle, and medical interns on the 3rd shift are twice as likely as others to misinterpret hospital test records.


Long-term use of melatonin may create new problems, the potential side effects of melatonin supplements are still largely unknown, therefore most experts discourage its use. Extreme sleep deprivation can lead to a psychotic state of paranoia and hallucinations in otherwise healthy people, and disrupted sleep can trigger episodes of mania (agitation and hyperactivity) in people with manic depression. The chemicals our immune systems produce while fighting an infection are powerful sleep-inducing chemicals and sleep may help the body conserve energy and other resources that the immune system needs to fight infection.


Once sleeping problems develop, they can add to a person’s impairment and cause confusion, frustration or depression. Patients who are unable to sleep also notice pain more and may increase their requests for pain medication. Better management of sleeping problems in people who have other disorders could improve their health and quality of life.
The use of alcohol, such as a nightcap, can only help for falling into a light sleep as it prevents the restorative stages and rem sleep. It causes a lighter stage of sleep, being easily awakened throughout the night. Abnormally hot or cold temperatures can disrupt the rem stage of sleep also because the decreased ability to regulate body temperature.

May you sleep well,