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Airport Scanner Radiation: Should You be Concerned?

Airport Scanner Radiation: Should You Be Concerned
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The apprehension regarding airport scanner radiation and its impact on our well-being is continuously increasing. The purpose of this article is to furnish you with exclusive knowledge and practical recommendations, enabling you to make a discerning choice. Embark on a captivating journey into the realm of airport scanners as we delve into the intricacies of their radiation emissions, unraveling both the potential risks and advantages they entail. Brace yourself for a comprehensive exploration that will equip you with the insights needed to navigate this complex subject matter.

Understanding Airport Scanners

Let’s begin by exploring the fascinating inner workings of airport scanners. Within this realm, two primary scanner types dominate the conversation:

  • Millimeter-wave scanners
  • Backscatter X-ray scanners

At all European airports, backscatter x-ray scanners are prohibited by the European Union. They are also not commonly used in the United States, despite the fact that they are not strictly prohibited. Instead, millimeter-wave scanners are the most common ones you see in airports today.

Millimeter-wave scanners

Millimeter Wave ScannerOperating on millimeter waves, these minuscule waves occupy the 30 to 300 GHz frequency range. It’s worth noting the similarity to the waves associated with high-band 5G, which has garnered attention. These scanners, resembling phone booths, employ the millimeter waves to create an intricate map of the human body. By positioning dozens of discs emitting these waves in controlled bursts on a rotating bar, a complete full-body image can be generated. This comprehensive image assists security personnel in detecting concealed weapons, drugs, or other prohibited items.

Millimeter waves, falling within the non-ionizing RF-band of the electromagnetic spectrum, are deemed safe due to their lack of ionizing energy capable of disrupting atomic structure. Thus, concerns regarding their potential adverse effects are assuaged.

Is Non-ionizing Radiation Really Safe?

Determining the true impact of non-ionizing radiation remains a complex puzzle. While governmental bodies assure us of its safety within typical exposure levels, there are indications suggesting a different story.

Recent studies have linked the growth of tumors in the hearts, brains, and adrenal glands of adult male rats to the RF-EMF radiation emitted by millimeter-wave scanners. This significant finding raises concerns about the potential carcinogenic effects of RF-emitting devices, such as cell phones, on human health. The World Health Organization’s International Association for Research on Cancer (IARC) has actually classed RF-EMF radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in light of these persuasive results. Additionally, radiation within the RF range has been associated with adverse effects such as miscarriages, male fertility issues, and the development of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS). These findings highlight the need for further investigation into the potential risks posed by RF-EMF radiation to human well-being.

A comprehensive literature review on millimeter waves revealed that exposure could result in physiological responses, including tissue heating. The review analyzed 94 different studies, categorizing them as in vitro (test tube) or in vivo (living organisms such as humans or rats). In the in vitro investigations, 58% of test participants showed a biological reaction to millimeter-wave exposure, whereas 80% of test subjects in the in vivo studies showed a reaction. This suggests that millimeter-wave exposure does indeed trigger a response within the body.

The challenge lies in the cumulative nature of exposure. While small doses of non-ionizing radiation may be harmless, the problem arises from the constant and significant accumulation of exposure. Millimeter-wave scanners act as another addition to an already overflowing bucket of radiation sources, including cell phones, smart meters, fitness trackers, Bluetooth, and WiFi. If you fly occasionally, the risk posed by millimeter-wave scanners may be tolerable. However, if you frequently find yourself on airplanes, it is understandable for these scanners to warrant your concern.

Are Millimeter-wave Scanners Effective?

After carefully considering the potential risks posed by millimeter-wave scanners, especially for frequent travelers exposed to them regularly, it’s important to question their efficacy in ensuring our safety.

The answer remains uncertain. While millimeter-wave scanners show promise in detecting items like knives, which can also be flagged by metal detectors, there is no documented evidence of a thwarted terrorist plot solely attributed to these devices. Their effectiveness beyond that of a costly metal detector remains unclear. In fact, according to a report, they exhibit a 54% false-positive rate. This discrepancy may be attributed to the machine being tricked by the presence of sweat, leading to the false identification of a threat.

Backscatter X-ray Scanners

Backscatter X-Ray ScannerAlthough backscatter X-ray scanners offer higher accuracy, they come with increased risks. X-ray machines emit ionizing radiation, which possesses enough energy to induce cell division. High doses of ionizing radiation are generally recognized as carcinogenic and hazardous.

Backscatter X-ray machines utilize X-ray technology to generate subject images, resulting in the production of small amounts of ionizing radiation. It’s estimated that over 50 scans would be required to equal the radiation exposure from a single dental X-ray. However, this level of risk remains unacceptable to some individuals, leading to significant public opposition.

In 2011, the European Union outlawed the use of backscatter X-ray scanners in response to public uproar. Although they remained in operation in the United States until around 2012, the majority of backscatter machines were eventually retired and replaced with millimeter-wave scanners, largely due to the controversy surrounding their use.

What Can Backscatter X-rays Teach Us?

The lessons learned from backscatter X-rays serve as a pertinent reminder for the current era of millimeter-wave scanners. It highlights how the government can declare a device safe even without substantial supporting research. Although millimeter-wave scanners are presently considered safe, it is crucial to recognize that advancements in technology may lead to their eventual replacement in the future. Vigilance and ongoing evaluation are essential in maintaining the highest standards of safety and protecting public health.

Should You Be Concerned?

The level of concern surrounding airport scanner radiation may vary based on your frequency of air travel. If you and your loved ones rarely embark on plane journeys, this may not be an immediate concern for you. However, if you find yourself frequently traveling for work or leisure, radiation exposure from airport scanners could directly impact your health, warranting some degree of concern.

Let’s revisit the analogy of the bucket we mentioned earlier.

Imagine exposure to a millimeter-wave scanner as a single drop in a bucket. If you prioritize caution and actively work to minimize EMF radiation levels in your home, your bucket may have sufficient space to accommodate that drop without overflowing.

However, if your bucket is already full due to regular exposure to high levels of EMF radiation, the introduction of the millimeter-wave scanner’s drop may serve as the catalyst that causes your bucket to overflow, potentially leading to health issues.

In simpler terms, if your lifestyle consistently exposes you to significant EMF radiation, millimeter-wave scanners may exacerbate health concerns. On the other hand, if you have implemented measures to reduce your exposure both at home and work, your body may be better equipped to handle the effects of millimeter-wave exposure.

Mitigating Risks and Personal Precautions

To safeguard yourself from the effects of millimeter-wave scanners, several precautionary measures can be taken. Opting out of the scanner is the most apparent solution. In the United States, this doesn’t mean you’re unable to fly; instead, you can request a physical pat-down. While privacy concerns may arise, it is the only way to completely avoid exposure.

The pat-down process is relatively straightforward and painless, as demonstrated in this video:

In other countries, such as various European nations, requesting a pat-down may not be an option. In such cases, you can consider proactive measures to protect yourself beforehand.

Supplements can be taken to counteract the potential effects of millimeter-wave exposure. One commonly used supplement is Reishi,

derived from a mushroom known for its cell-repairing properties against radiation-induced damage. It has shown potential in fighting cancer and reducing the size of existing tumors. Prior to heading to the airport, taking a high-quality Reishi supplement may aid in shielding against airport scanner radiation, as well as the radiation encountered during the flight.

Final Thoughts

The noble intention behind airport scanners, preventing terrorist attacks, is commendable. However, it should not come at the expense of compromising our health. Further research is necessary to ascertain the true safety of the non-ionizing radiation emitted by millimeter-wave scanners. If found to be unsafe, the development of improved technologies becomes imperative.

In the interim, if available, consider opting out of millimeter-wave scans. Alternatively, taking a Reishi supplement before going through security might help mitigate potential health risks. Additionally, do not hesitate to voice your concerns to airport personnel and local politicians. It is only through collective action and the amplification of our concerns that meaningful change can occur.

Airport Scanner Radiation: Should You be Concerned?


What started out as an intention to protect my family from the dangers of EMF radiation has turned into a mission to share my research with as many people as possible. Despite the ever-increasing threat of EMF, there are many ways to keep ourselves protected. Knowledge is power!

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