TSA refutes claims rays are injurious

Full-body scanning debuts at Toledo Express

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Body scanners like this one are already in place at airports around the country.
( ASSOCIATED PRESS )

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By DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Controversial “full-body scanning” arrives Friday at Toledo Express Airport.

During a lunchtime news conference at the airport’s passenger terminal, the Transportation Security Administration will demonstrate what it calls Advanced Imaging Technology. It also will explain procedures for protecting the privacy of travelers who submit to the video screening process as an alternative to pat-down searches before being allowed to board flights.

A single body-image scanning device then will be placed in service at the airport’s security lane.

The use of such scanners at other airports has been met with complaints that the imagery invades travelers’ privacy by showing everything underneath clothing, and the devices themselves emit potentially harmful radiation.

But the TSA said the scanners’ millimeter-wave technology uses “harmless electromagnetic waves” and enables noncontact searches for “metallic and nonmetallic threats.”

“The energy projected by millimeter-wave technology is thousands of times less than a cell phone transmission,” according to an agency statement.

TSA currently uses 464 such scanners at 75 airports across the United States in an effort to prevent travelers from carrying firearms, explosives, or other forbidden and potentially dangerous material aboard aircraft.

It installed the first such devices at the largest, busiest airports, but by the end of next year plans to have 1,000 of them in service throughout the country, said Jim Fotenos, a TSA spokesman.

Scanners already are in service at the Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, Ind., and Dayton airports

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