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Regional airport to receive new TSA devices

Published: Tue, October 11, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Karl Henkel



The latest wave of airport- security technology is coming to the Youngstown- Warren Regional Airport.

Advanced imaging technology, or AIT, will soon make its debut, according to a release on the Transportation Security Administration’s website.

An official announcement is expected today.

The devices, which use automatic targeting recognition, allow TSA agents to quickly detect metallic and nonmetallic items — including weapons and explosives — that may be hidden under passengers’ clothing.

“It’ll speed up production and efficiency,” said Dan Dickten, aviation director.

The airport currently has X-ray baggage scanners and metal-detector machines.

AITs use new X-ray technology that emits small levels of radiation but well below dose limits specified by the American National Standards Institute. So-called “backscatter” X-ray detects radiation that reflects from an object, instead of through an object, as is the case with normal X-ray machines.

The TSA did, however, re-test for radiation levels earlier this year after reports of radiation levels much higher than reported levels. It has since confirmed the safety of the AITs but has not allowed independent testers to further investigate.

According to the TSA’s website, AIT screening is safe for all passengers, including children, pregnant women and individuals with medical implants.

Unlike full-body X-ray scanners, which can show too-revealing physical traits, AITs create computer-generated outlines that the TSA says “enhances privacy.”

The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport did not have the revealing X-ray machines, Dickten said.

There are currently about 500 AIT units at 78 airports across the nation.

The TSA in September purchased 300 units to be deployed in the coming months.


1lee(544 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Free!!! it's bought with Obama bucks.

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2Ytown20(118 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

I was happy to give my business to our local airport, but unfortunately I can't now that us Youngstowers will receive an unregulated, non-independently tested dose of IONIZING radiation that concentrates solely in the skin and surface of eyes.
To top it off, these procedures have been shown to have a 70% fail rate, while at the same time stripping us of rights as free citizens wanting to move freely about our country. Where will this paranoia end?

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3valleyperson(7 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

For the record you can still use the metal detector there, and also it’s not your right as US citizens to fly! It’s a privilege to fly! Everyone needs to remember that!! Its does not emit enough radiation to cause any sort of health probelms, infact you could stand in that machine for a month straight and still not have any health problems. We also need to look at now that this great technology is in the small airports all airports will have this so there is no bypassing it! So you aren't losing your rights fly freely around the country because its not your right!!!!

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4Ytown20(118 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

@valleyperson: Your statement that the radiation scanners do not cause any sort of health problems is false because there are no independent studies to back that statement. That is stated clearly in this article. (Kudos to the author for at least bringing that point out).

No amount of radiation is safe and radiation is cumulative. Also, these are not typical medical xrays that diffuse through the body. They concentrate solely on the skin and surface of eyes. Hence why it is called a "backscatter" machine: The radiation scatters off the surface of the body.

Scientists worry about the possibly of head and neck cancers developing from these contraptions. Specifically, basal cell carcinoma especially in those at higher risk (older folks). The fact that we are even irradiating the face of a person shows that these were hastily implemented without any regard for safety. (Hiding a bomb on your face?) Statistically, more people will die from cancer from these machines than from a terrorist.

And yes, you may be lucky enough to not be selected for the radiation scanner, but if you are selected, sorry, your option of the metal detector is no longer available to you. Of course you can opt out for a "patdown" like you are a criminal.

So in summary, you think as a free person, traveling through your own free country, you should lay down and accept a blast of radiation to your body or a clerk touching your body as a condition to travel? The terrorists have won.

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5E5E55(2 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Valleyperson...as the person stated above, there have been no independant studies to prove that this radiation does not cause health problems. I'm willing to bet you would not volunteer your body or that of a loved one to be subjected to this radiation scanner for a few hours straight, and if you deny that, you are flat out lying. As stated above, radiation is CUMULATIVE. Also, as far as you saying it's not your "right to fly but a privilege", I would think it is every single person's RIGHT who PAID their hard earned money to fly...not to be subjected to a device that hasn't even had an independant study yet to prove it's safety. It is surely their RIGHT, not to be subjected to cancer. Lastly, what makes this even more asinine is the fact that they are just using it to make an example out of people. If there are 20 people in line and 3 soccer moms get chosen for the radiation scan....that's 17 potential terrorists they let go. Oh, and to top it off, if you fit the description of what most terrorists look like, you most likely won't even be scanned...cause they aren't going to risk being accused of racial profiling. Instead, they will give grandmothers in wheel chairs and pregnant ladies these doses of radiation, all for the sake of pretending like they are upting the safety for flying. If they were TRUELY interested in upping the safety of flying, they would hire an armed guard to be on each flight. These airlines make enough money to do this, yet hmmm...shockingly they don't.

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6E5E55(2 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

By the way, nobody realized that asbestos caused cancer back in the day EITHER.

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