The Backscatter X-Ray

Topics: Transportation Security Administration, United States Department of Homeland Security, Light Pages: 3 (858 words) Published: October 16, 2012
The backscatter X-ray is the right choice when compared to traditional X-rays or metal detectors. On December 27, 2006, the author, Thomas Frank,whom is the aviation security correspondant for USA Today, wrote, "X-ray Tests Both Security, Privacy," and made valid points concerning the fear of radiation, how easily it finds metal guns and knives, and the provacy issue that surrounds X-ray technology (5). Throughout this essay Thomas Frank was able to write about the facts surrounding X-rays and keep hs opinion out of the article therefore giving his readers the chance to form their own belief. This essay was written to analyze which belief to choose. Should the public be against the backscatter X-ray because of radiation exposure or is safety against terrorists the better option?

The fear of over-exposure to radiation is laughable at best. "It's like being out in the sun for 15 to 20 minutes" (5). Being out in the sun can in reality be a good thing. Through sunlight the body absorbs vitamin D which is needed for strong bones and teeth. Everyone gets sun exposure on an everyday basis. It's not a bad thing to have a little sun. Take people whom use artificial light to tan. A waiver must be signed before exposing the body to the light. This waiver states that skin cancer may occur with use; eye damage is possible with exposure. Tanners sign this form without another thought because artificial light is the same as being out in the sun. A waiver is not availabe for people to sign at the airport. Why is this? Is it because radiation damage is higher with artificial light thereby being higher with sunlight versus the backscatter X-ray? If so, should the public stay inside their house and avoid sunlight at all cost?

"They are foolproof when it comes to finding metal guns and metal knives" (6). Clark Kent Ervin whom is the former Homeland Security Department inspector said during the interview. He stated, "screeners repeatedly missed hidden weapons"...
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