AW: [ RadSafe ] Airport X-ray body scanners

Bjorn Cedervall bcradsafers at
Sun Jul 13 15:22:15 CDT 2008

First, thank you all who provided numbers and perspective. I apologize for not responding earlier - I am in the French countryside (flew here by the way, driving and taking other risks...) and had almost no Internet access over the four days. Obviously the doses are trivial and of course Sandy's point no. 3 - the overall objective is sound.
Bjorn Cedervall    bcradsafers at
> Subject: AW: [ RadSafe ] Airport X-ray body scanners> Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 16:31:25 +0200> From: Rainer.Facius at> To: bcradsafers at; radsafe at> > Bjorn,> > assuming that the quoted 30 nSv is an equivalent organ dose to the skin and given the reported range of X-rays less than one cm its contribution to effective dose and hence total effective dose would be 300 pSv.> > Regards, Rainer > > -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----> Von: Facius, Rainer > Gesendet: Donnerstag, 10. Juli 2008 15:58> An: 'Bjorn Cedervall'; radsafe at> Betreff: AW: [ RadSafe ] Airport X-ray body scanners> > Bjorn,> > in a radsafe thread > > "RE: [ RadSafe ] airport scanners at Heathrow" , sent Do 11.05.2006 19:59,> > dealing with "new airport body scanners", Kim McMAHAN, ORNL External Dosimetry, (mcmahankl at, quoted a manufacturer with a dose to an individual of 30 nSv per scan which might be compared to the variability of the natural background dose rate between 70 and 100 nSv/h in our area.> > Notwithstanding your plea, I cannot refrain from noting that your argument depends on the premise that there is a risk associated with such an exposure. Otherwise it would be pointless. If you know reasons to assume this, please share them. > > Your condition "This risk must reasonably be so low that it would be far below any statistical detection level" is surely met in any case.> > Kind regards, Rainer > > Dr. Rainer Facius> German Aerospace Center> Institute of Aerospace Medicine> Linder Hoehe> 51147 Koeln> GERMANY> Voice: +49 2203 601 3147 or 3150> FAX: +49 2203 61970> > -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----> Von: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] Im Auftrag von Bjorn Cedervall> Gesendet: Donnerstag, 10. Juli 2008 07:41> An: radsafe at> Betreff: [ RadSafe ] Airport X-ray body scanners> > > Radsafers,> > I wonder if anyone could comment the dose to skin as well as effective dose from the new airport scanners.> > I understand that the doses are low but I reflect over the exposure of a large number of people (each one receiving a very small risk) to a dose they didn't ask for - in particular children and pregnant women. I see a parallel with being passively exposed to smoking - the extra risk is very low but it is an ethical issue -what right does someone have to expose someone else to a small extra cancer risk?> > This risk must reasonably be so low that it would be far below any statistical detection level and we could of course never even know how small that risk can be expected to be (I do not mean to start up another LNT debate which we already had dozens of at Radsafers so please save us from another one of those).> > Another side of the issue is of course the much larger risk of some statistical terrorist action but this is my topic above is not about that which is a separate discussion.> > My personal reflection only,> > Bjorn Cedervall bcradsafers at> > The major attention seems to be about "revealing body parts" etc (one of our Swedish sensational newspapers recently had a headline saying something like "the nudity scanner" which is along with their general entertainment agenda).> > _________________________________________________________________> It's a talkathon - but it's not just talk.>> You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list> > Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood the RadSafe rules. These can be found at:> > For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings visit:
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