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Backscatter Machines,what do you do

Adelaide, Australia
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Backscatter Machines,what do you do

Just wondering, travellers out there that opt out of screening and take the pat down rather then subjecting yourself to unnecessary radiation. Id be interested to know what people go for?

Florida - Alaska...
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for Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Province, Outdoors / Adventure Travel
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1. Re: Backscatter Machines,what do you do

I get radiated. The radiation from Backscatter machines is totally insignificant compared to the radiation you get simply sitting on the plane flying at 30,000 ft. Perhaps for a business traveler who is flying multiple times a day, it might become an issue over time, but for folks who fly a couple of times a year for pleasure, imho it is nothing much to worry about.

Houston, Texas
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for Air Travel, Business Travel
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2. Re: Backscatter Machines,what do you do

"Sorry, my right arm doesn't assume the position." That's what I say, and I'm being truthfull (never run down steep steps in sock feet). I get a pat down about 10% of the time... but 100% of the time in SFO.

Casa Grande, Arizona
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3. Re: Backscatter Machines,what do you do

I'm alive mostly by taking radiation treatments over 10 years ago. So backscatter machines mean nothing to me.

Elk Rapids, Michigan
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for Lanai
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4. Re: Backscatter Machines,what do you do

Machine. On the plus side they tell me if I forgot something in a pocket so it does not end up in the wash.

San Diego
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for San Diego
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5. Re: Backscatter Machines,what do you do

I just go through the x ray machine.

I really don't think it is a big deal!

Detroit, MI
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for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
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6. Re: Backscatter Machines,what do you do

Nobody but the TSA has actually evaluated a machine of the type that are in use. Other studies out there rely on TSA generated data analysis. TSA can't even manage an exit door to avoid terminal dumps - I doubt they have the ability to properly calibrate and maintain x-ray equipment. Some experts believe that malfunctioning equipment may be delivering much more radiation.

…nytimes.com/2012/…

It is important to note that there are two types of body scanners. Backscatter are the big blue boxes like pictured in the article linked. These use x-ray radiation and could possibly cause cancer - some estimates up to 100 people per year.

The other type is the millimeter wave which uses non-ionizing radiation. Those machines are the white/glass rounded machines.

I ran into the back-scatter for the first time last week in Boston. Thankfully it was easy to self-opt-out by picking a line that was feeding a walk through metal detector. This shows how incompetent they really are since it is so easy to avoid these machines. I would have opted out if necessary.

I have been through the MMW machines many times - I just find them to be pointless false positive machines. I end up with a belly rub or pocket check, but at least they don't grab my testicles.

All security theater to make the uneducated feel safe, while lining the pockets of corporations connected to DHS.

Detroit, MI
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for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
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7. Re: Backscatter Machines,what do you do

And to add, TSA has failed in the past to properly maintain/test baggage x-ray machines.

usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-12-06-tsa-x…

Not sure why anyone should believe they are doing any better maintaining their other equipment. The TSOs working around these machines are probably at the biggest risk.

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Backscatter Machines,what do you do

I have traveled through LAX and JFK several times in the last few years and only once had to go through the whole full scanner and then I still ended up with a pat down , thanks to my left knee being held together with several screws, the rest of time it is just the regular metal detector , I have though had my hand bag swabbbed a few times , thats ussually my husbands treat at Australian airport but I have found the USA like to pick out the housewife with the huge handbags.... LOL .

Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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9. Re: Backscatter Machines,what do you do

Hi,

TSA-this or TSA-that issues aside, I did have some concerns when this issue first appeared..

I had a direct conversation with my physician about it and what was his perception of it, relative to my health risk profile and such; and if he supported me going thru it or not..

His opinion was that while in a perfect world you'd want to avoid all forms, just like you'd want to avoid chemicals in food and other such matter, the reality is that in most cases 100% avoidance is just not a physical reality-- so his issue was looking at it from a position of risk tolerance and acceptable levels of risk.

Given my medical profile, he did not (and still does not) have an overt issue with it. That said, he's a fan of avoidance of unnecessary exposure, but did not feel what I'd be subjected to in this scenario was enough to pose a heath risk given my profile.

But again, he say that what's good for me, can be different than someone else..

Travel Safe,

Bangkok, Thailand
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10. Re: Backscatter Machines,what do you do

Can I refuse to go through any of this scanning equipment?

For the first time ever in Bkk 2 weeks ago I had to walk through a scanner with hands above my head. What type scanner is this? Can I refuse next time?

Usually, I use Fasttrack and dont come through this security channel.

Was all new to me.