Airport Backscatter Scanners-Public Health at Risk

University of California at San Francisco faculty members write to John Holdren who is the Assistant to President for Science and Technology with their urgent concern about the public health threat of backscatter scanners, which are a new part of a airport passenger screening process.

Faculty members who signed the letter include doctors in biochemistry and biophysics, cancer and xray, and imaging experts. They call for a review of the scanners based on the lack of an independent safety review, and health risks to children, pregnant women, elders, and people with compromised  immune systems. They write, “This is an urgent situation as these X-ray scanners are rapidly being implemented as a primary screening step for all air travel passengers. Our overriding concern is the extent to which the safety of this scanning device has been adequately demonstrated. This can only be determined by a meeting of an impartial panel of experts that would include medical physicists and radiation biologists at which all of the available relevant data is reviewed.”

The California Department of Public Health on RF Health Impacts

The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST)Health Impacts of Radio Frequency From Smart Meters final report was released on March 31, 2011. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) comments challenged the CCST, stating, “CDPH suggests further review of the literature on non-thermal effects, which is complicated and controversial, but does not support a claim of no non-thermal health effects from radio frequency electromagnetic fields.”

CDPH also provided the following links to documents regarding the controversy over Smart Meter (radio frequency radiation-RF) safety:

In addition to the following three studies, CDPH sent the following 3 study references to the CCST:

Electromagnetic Fields and DNA Damage: Phillips, J.L.; Singh, N.P.; Lai, H.;

Pathophysiology 16(2009) 79-88

Electromagnetic Fields and the Induction of DNA Strand Breaks: Ruiz-

Gomez, M.J.; Martinez-Morillo, M.; Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine

28:201-214, 2009

Radiofrequency and Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Field Effects

on the Blood-Brain Barrier: Nittby, H.; Grafstrom, G.; Eberhardt, J.L.;

Malmgren, L.; Brun, A.; Persson, B.R.R.; Salford, L.; Electromagnetic

Biology and Medicine 27:103-126, 2008

Other Comments to CCST Smart Meter Study