You asked for it: Independent Proof

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Ron, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Ron

    Ron Original Member

    "WASHINGTON, DC - A new report by an independent task force commissioned by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), has found that people absorb less radiation from airport X-ray backscatter scanner than they do while standing in line waiting for the scan itself."

    More at the link below:
  2. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I would be interested in how these tests were carried out since a person must divest themselves of everything before entering the TSA peep show booth.
  3. Wimpie

    Wimpie Original Member

    Well, they're gone so the point is moot.
  4. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Only gone util ATR is working. Backscatter images are superior to MMW.
  5. FliesWay2Much

    FliesWay2Much Original Member

    They conveniently overlook the correlation of the radiation on the skin, the concentration on the eyes, and attenuation by the earth's atmosphere and the metal fuselage of a commercial aircraft.

    Shove it. independent task force... just shove it where the radioactive sun doesn't shine.
    Elizabeth Conley and DeafBlonde like this.
  6. The actual study is here:

    I so far only skimmed it, but as far as I can see there were no live subjects, only dummies and models of skin and such. For example, instead of putting dosimeters on TSA clerks in the field, an "anthropomorphic torso phantom was placed between the master and slave unit" to study radiation leakage. (Incidentally, an interesting use of tyranny terms, no?) Also, the section on "Scanner Failure" is totally weak -- they didn't study this at all, just wrote a paragraph about how they're pretty sure failure would never result in too much radiation based on the construct of the machine. That's the same line the propaganda boxes have been telling us the whole time. Repeating the party line is not science.

    There's a lot of weak and questionable stuff in the study. I barely know where to begin, in fact. But I will say that to call this "Proof" is a complete fallacy -- even if this was an impressive study, it would need to be reproduced more than once to be called "proof". "Independent" is also in question -- there's an awful lot of verbiage in the study about how very independent and uninfluenced the study was, but then somebody from the other place noted this about the AAPM from their website:

    "To best represent medical physics, the AAPM has worked to establish a close and cooperative working relationship with numerous government bodies and organizations including the Congress, federal and state agencies, related professional societies and a range of medical providers, corporations and suppliers."

    Finally, unless I'm missing something here, it's important to point out that this was not a peer reviewed study in a reputable scientific journal. I don't put a lot of faith in peer review anymore, but it is still a certain litmus test as far as the quality of research is concerned.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.

  7. They actually do talk about skin. They use some fancy-shmancy model:

    I'm not impressed. Surely they could have found some willing live subjects for this study? After all, millions of people willingly, some even happily, went through these scanners repeatedly for several years. Plus, their male/female adult and male/female child models don't seem to say anything about how this would affect people with fair skin vs. dark skin, people with skin cancer or certain risks of skin cancer, etc. That's a lot more important than male/female adult/child in my opinion. I'm super fair skinned with moles, freckles, a childhood in a very sunny place and a history of skin cancer in my family. Doctors have always advised me that I should never be out of the house without sunscreen and a hat. What say you, physicists? Oh, that's right. You didn't think of that angle.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  8. RB

    RB Founding Member

    TSA must have been involved for this group to have such access to these Strip Search Machines.
  9. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Ronnie's joining us tonight via an anonymous proxy server in Iceland. How's weather in Omaha, Ron?

    The sponsoring association appears to be legit, and they do have a couple peer-reviewed journals, although this study was published under the auspices of neither.

    This would have been a very useful study -- three years ago. It's moot now.

    On thing that stands out is that the power to the x-ray tube is only 5 mA. I have radar units sitting on my desk that draw a lot more current than that. Even if you discount what's needed for the processor cards, the radar is still consuming > 5 mA. So the Rapiscan really is a low power/low yield device.

    My next question is what's the overcurrent protection on that circuitry to prevent accidental overexposure?

    Had this study been done in a timely fashion 3 years ago (with due attention to the overexposure question), it would have largely addressed the question of radiation exposure with regard to the Nude-O-Scope's intended victims.

    I still see several remaining issues:

    1. Specifically not addressed is the subject of radiation exposure due to leakage, the maintenance regiment to avoid such incidental leakage, and monitoring in the interim.

    2. Employees who are working in close proximity to x-ray equipment should be wearing dosimeters. Period. Stop.

    3. Privacy it totally not addressed, unless the intended response is, "I'm so glad you rape can me by proxy from the pervo booth without actually giving me skin cancer."
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  10. Indeed. The study admits Rapiscan's involvment (claiming, of course, that they were not influenced, just helped out by Rapiscan):

    And how was it that Rapiscan personnel helped obtain access to backscatter units in LAX without the TSA's cooperation? I wonder why TSA and Rapiscan would be suddenly so willing to allow a study done by this group, and not by, say, UCSF, or another skeptical academic group.
  11. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Ok I peeked. I don't see Iceland but trust your understanding of these things. Looks like he is still posting from DHS assets.
  12. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    What timing...
    A study paid for by whom?
    In response to what?
    So, I would read that authority as TSA's. Rapiscan could make classified info determinations.:rolleyes:
    No need to respond to Congress or regulatory requirements when these free independent studies appear all by themselves. Wasn't that easy? Just spread the PR and move along, nothing more to see here.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  13. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Naughty RB, you'll get hairy palms if you keep looking at things you shouldn't ...

    The one labeled "Content IP" is the origin of the post.
  14. I'm curious about this, too:

    This might well be true, but I'm just wondering what motivates a bunch of PhD's to do a bunch of research for free, ostensibly supporting the position of the federal government and a corporation with commercial interests. It's not like their work has some kind of humanitarian value, like saving starving children or protecting coral reefs or something. In fact, it supports a position that is in other ways clearly detrimental to society -- supporting scanners with known weaknesses that are used to trample on the rights and dignity of the American public. Who volunteers their time to a cause that's mediocre at best? I hope at least they were getting their salaries and working on the clock.
  15. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Pro-bono write-off? Sponsored research is paid work, privately in this case by a non-profit. Siemens is a corporate affiliate.
  16. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    phoebepontiac and KrazyKat like this.
  17. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    A better question is how well some of you understand the technical aspects of issues. If the input current is 5 mA, the cumulative effect will be negligible. You'll get a lot more radiation sitting in front of an old-fashioned TV or computer monitor with a tube.

    I'm probably doomed -- I used to spend hours sitting in front of the twin-tube consoles on our CDC 6500 & Cyber 73 mainframe, like these:


    There are still issues -- potentially major issues in safety, maintenance, privacy -- but you need to focus on those.

    To be perfectly honest, Ron actually came up with a useful study. It just happens to be three years late to the party.
  18. RB

    RB Founding Member

    OK, let us assume that the study is competely accurate and the Backscatter devices are not harmful. Why this study now? I can't believe that DHS/TSA didn't have a hand in it at all. At least authorizing access. Was this permitted because the machines were on the way out and TSA wanted to be able to say, "see, we told you"? If so why not before the machines were gone?

    What the heck did that console do?
  19. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    The shill didn't come up with the study, his employer did; how else did he know about it?
    The timing didn't just "happen." The inadequacy of a study that doesn't address cumulative impacts is more to the point, as well as questionable independence.
    Moreover: TSA is trying to circumvent the regulatory framework for conducting such a study, hiding behind industry sponsors, themselves putting forward the AAPM as the source of the "volunteer" effort. Ridiculous.
  20. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    They are obviously planning to come out with an ionizing x-ray (i.e. Backscatter X-Ray) Nude-O-Scope that has ATR (i.e., gumby display) capabilities. Doesn't matter 'cause I will still refuse to climb into one of those infernal contraptions. Period. It doesn't matter whether or not it's perfectly safe, it's for SAAAAAFTY, or it will whiten and brighten my teeth. I.WILL.NOT.SUBMIT.TO.A.STRIP.SEARCH in order to travel within my own damn country!!!!
    Monica47 likes this.

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