For those worried about radiation risks – and the science is still unclear on the extent of scanner-related risks, but is clear that radiation exposure is cumulative and reduced exposure is better than less. Some good practical suggestions for frequent travellers (with the risk that overzealous personnel may ‘touch your junk’ as part of the security theatre that we are forced to endure). Quote:
While the risk to the average passenger may be low, here are some suggestions for those who wish to reduce their exposure.
- Get to the airport early. That gives you extra time to opt for a pat-down if you want.
- If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell a T.S.A. agent. You may be allowed to pass through a metal detector without additional screening.
- The younger children are, the more sensitive to radiation. T.S.A. employees have been known not to require children under 13 to go through an X-ray machine, although the agency denies there is any policy on this.
- If you have any concerns about medical conditions, you have the right to opt for a pat-down by a T.S.A. employee.
While these are written for the US, where scanners are ubiquitous, we also have scanners in Canada so I opt for the pat-down given all the other radiation I have received from my various CT and PET scans, along with chest X-rays, during my treatment over the past years.