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Do the body scans in airports really emit radiation, & is it harmful to young children & babies?

We are thinking about flying out to Montana next spring , & I'm worried that these full body scans could be harmful to my children, especially to my baby boy who will be 8 months old by then. Does anybody know for sure the answer to this question? I'm thinking about just not taking the trip if this is the case.


Asked by Prettyladykt at 9:38 AM on Nov. 24, 2010 in Travel

Level 4 (39 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • Well, it's not going to be immediately harmful. More than likely. Radiation's a crap shoot. I'll try to explain it really quickly and simply. The radiation it emits travels in waves, and these waves penetrate your skin and get into your body. Once they have passed the skin (which is an excellent protector for most types of radiation) the particles can begin doing damage. A radioactive particle must hit a cell and penetrate it. That's variable one. Variable two is what happens next - the particle can damage the DNA, it can kill the cell, or it can do nothing. If it damages the DNA in such a way that the DNA is still capable of replicating, you have a mutation. Sometimes mutations lead to tumerous growths, sometimes not. It depends on the damage.
    So, back to the scanner. Radiation is like throwing darts at a dart board. If you only throw one, you have X chance of getting a bullseye. If you throw 1,000...

    Answer by Jenny-talia at 9:46 AM on Nov. 24, 2010

  • your chances improve dramatically. Well, the scanner (and most other types of xray deals) are like throwing the 1,000 darts. It's extremly unlikely that there will be any immediate danger to anyone involved, however, radiation is cumulative, and the more we expose ourselves, the greater the risk. The levels of background radiation we are bombarded with daily has increased exponentialy over the last decade (have you seen the studies about how EM radiation from WiFi damages trees?) and I think that has had a serious impact on our cancer rates. It's really just 'one more nail in the coffin', so to speak.

    Answer by Jenny-talia at 9:49 AM on Nov. 24, 2010

  • takes less than 15 seconds and your on your way. Harmless. Those workers have to be with it for hours each day.

    Answer by Zoeyis at 9:44 AM on Nov. 24, 2010

  • yes,they emit a small dose of radiation. I doubt the baby will have to be body scanned.

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 9:44 AM on Nov. 24, 2010

  • Jenny took the words out of my mouth.

    To add one more dart, let us factor in family history. I am at extremely high risk, and would decline being scanned on that basis alone. Genetically speaking, I am predisposed to several types of cancer- no need to increase my chances.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 10:04 AM on Nov. 24, 2010