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View Diary: Mass X-Radiation Exposure at U.S. Borders (30 comments)

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  •  No dose threshold for X Radiation effects. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, debedb

    There isn't any X radiation dose threshold that ensures there is no health damage for exposures below such a 'threshold'

    If you take a population of people and expose them all to a non-zero x radiation dose, there will be an elevated risk of cancer in that population.

    •  But it could fall below the "risk v. reward" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane

      threshold. Face it, we expose ourselves to all sorts of EM radiation every day. Even x-rays. We let doctors zap us with them because the benefits outweigh the risks. I don't personally think the proposed security benefits outweigh the risk but an argument could be made for it. But I don't want the choice to be between fear-mongering of terrorists v. fear-mongering of x-rays.

      To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

      by ontheleftcoast on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:23:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is not like most medical xradiation exposures (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane

        In most medical x radiation exposures, there is a very strictly controlled time frame of exposure with an intermittent generation of xrays.   That is not how these X-ray imaging processes planned for border deployment will work.   They will be on and generating Xray emissions constantly at cars drive through.   Your exposure will depend in part on how long you are stuck inside the device.

      •  X-rays that can penetrate (5+ / 0-)

        the metal of a motor vehicle body is not "low-level." Unless they mean "low level" gamma. Metal is pretty good gamma shielding too, so I can't see how that would work either. Then again, I don't see how a linear beam through the windows can resolve anything at seat-to-floor level. Do any of your sources have a link to the specs?

        Meanwhile, both X-ray and gamma are ionizing radiation. There is no 'safe' level, any exposure ionizes atoms in your body on its way through. No one can know whether or not any given destabilized atom in any molecule in any cell of a person's body will end up triggering a cascade of effects that develops into cancer down the line, but there are molecules in your cells which if damaged, have that tendency. Like DNA and RNA. There is only the risk-benefit ratio, and that's not something the targets of this exposure get to weigh in on. DHS gets to decide THEY are willing to waive the risk to YOU, in case you are a smuggler/terrorist. Which isn't very probable either.

        Word: don't apply for the job of the grunt who gets to drive the vehicles through the portal if the driver and passengers decline the exposure.

        •  Sorry...no additional links now (4+ / 0-)

          I realize the diary is very limited and I was just trying to get news of this out to the public....I am planning to do a more detailed and descriptive diary in the furure on this, including the real reason for these X radiation imagers....someone is going to make a lot of money manufacturing them.

          •  This is the most important thing (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LakeSuperior, debedb, Joieau
            ....someone is going to make a lot of money manufacturing them.
            Because that is all that matters in the end. Nobody will be "safer" because of these scanners. And even at best they're still not perfectly safe. But someone is expecting to make huge piles of money on this boondoggle and that's all the folks in Congress seem to care about. And unfortunately too many of them have (D) after there names.

            To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

            by ontheleftcoast on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:43:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  exactly (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane, LakeSuperior, debedb, Joieau

          Thank you for setting forth the correct explanation.  As you inidcated, any individual x-ray photon has enough energy to ionize an atom and therefore break a chemical bond, say, in your DNA. However, the total energy involved can be reduced by using fewer of these photons, which no doubt is their excuse for calling it "low level". Be that as it may, no matter how you cut it, x-ray radiation is ionizing, and is unsafe at any level.

          •  "Enough" X-ray or gamma photons (1+ / 0-)
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            wilderness voice

            to pass through two metal-clad sides of a vehicle and resolve what's inside in enough detail to determine what it is is not going to be classified as "few" any more than it can be classified "low level." It remains to be determined whether this is really low level (and if so it cannot penetrate metal or resolve what's inside the vehicle) or it's just another scam being perpetrated by the security industry's flim-flam gang.

            Which, believe me, is entirely possible.

      •  yes (0+ / 0-)

        I, for one, trust my doctor far more than DHS -- from the top whose Secretaries go on to peddle airport scanners to the bottom where it looks like people who can't get hired anywhere else go.

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