[ I point out that the manufacturers of body scanning machines have spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress to ensure their deployment. Finally, for good measure, I ask my frisker whether he has heard about the “cancer cluster” at Boston’s Logan airport. Security workers there have argued that their cancers were caused by standing close to the X-ray baggage scanners. T.S.A. officers do not like to hear about the Logan cancer cluster.
There are studies that show a correlation between extremely low-level, non-ionizing forms of radiation and cancer, just as there are many studies showing the opposite. Many scientists will insist that the low levels of radiation absorbed in airport security checks have no deleterious effect. That’s wonderful — I’m happy to concede that my fears are most likely baseless. But as long as there is any question of risk, no matter how small, I will continue to avoid the machines ]