Snookered by the Airport Body Scanner

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist November 15, 2011

I discovered yesterday on my way home from the Wise Traditions seminar that I had unknowingly received a bon voyage blast of radiation from a body scanner on my way out of town via Tampa International Airport.

A radiation expert that I was chatting up in the van on the way to Dallas airport yesterday clued me in.

Apprarently, some TSA agents are now flat out lying to airline passengers about the machines they operate.

I never got the memo.

I have to admit that I haven’t been keeping up with the roll out of body scanner machines across the United States over the past year.   I knew some of the larger hubs had them, but had not read or heard anywhere in my local community that Tampa International now has them too.

So, on my way through security last Thursday I wasn’t anticipating anything different at the security check.

As I dutifully removed my shoes, I first sensed something was very wrong when I saw the big security box that people were walking through after stepping inside and placing their feet on the appropriate spots and putting their hands in the air.

I figured that must be a body scanner so I told the TSA agent when it was my turn that I wanted a pat down instead.

“We don’t do pat downs here”, he said.

“This machine here doesn’t have any radiation – if it did, I wouldn’t be standing so close“, he assured me.

Skeptical and taken aback but the TSA agent’s answer, I went ahead and proceeded through the big box to be checked.

Big mistake.  Big HUGE mistake.

So, after the conference on the way home, the radiation expert I was talking to in the shuttle told me that the big box that I had stepped into was indeed a body scanner and that I had received a not so small dose of radiation as a thank you for my lemming like behavior.

Sure enough, when I arrived at Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport, I talked to the baggage check in agent and he told me that yes, Dallas has body scanners and that you can of course choose a pat down if you like.

When I arrived at my terminal’s security point, the machine used was the exact same box as the one I walked through in Tampa International.  The people went inside and stood exactly as I had and put their hands in the air the same way.

When it was my turn to be checked, I requested a pat down.

“Of course, that is your choice”, said the TSA agent.

She proceeded to give me a manual pat down, which I have to say was no big deal at all.  At no time, did I feel uncomfortable or violated in any way.

So, what happened at TIA and why in the world did that TSA agent so unlawfully mislead me?  Why did I receive such a completely different answer at Tampa International Airport and at Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport?

My thought is that the TSA agent believed 100% what he was telling me.  I did not sense or see any body language that indicated that he knew he was lying.  I think the man was told an untruth from his superior or someone else at TSA and is simply passing on the lies to airline passengers.

The important takeaway of this post is BEWARE.   Be prepared for lies from TSA when you travel and when in doubt, insist on a pat down.

I am now on the hunt for some black algae which will apparently release that radiation from my body.   Any tips?

 

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Picture Credit

 

Comments (157)

  1. I forgot to add re: Spirulina or Chlorella – I good brand is New Roots because they are grown indoors and thus can control the conditions, vs. being harvested off the coast of say China or Japan for instance, which we don’t always know how ‘clean’ those conditions are.

    Reply
  2. Excellent article and I definitely push for the patdown as well. Great supplements to take are Chlorella or Spirulina. In fact, I take either one almost daily in my smoothies! All the best :)

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  3. Great article Sarah.
    And here’s something you didn’t know.
    Australia has mandated the millimeter wave (microwave) scanners and there is NO OPT-OUT for a pat down. Advise your friends and family to think carefully before visiting Australia. DNA bubbling or Retina damage anyone? Thanks to US policy enforced on Oz they have overtaken the US on tyrrany.

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  4. I know this is an older post so I’m not sure if I’ll get a response but I went through an airport scanner a few weeks ago before I found out I was pregnant. Now I’m worried about it! I was about 4 weeks at the time I went through the scanner. I’m not sure if I can safely take herbs to get rid of the radiation. I’m almost 7 weeks pregnant now.

    Reply
    • CMR, talk to your Dr or midwife before adding any new medication/supplements while you’re pregnant to be sure that they are safe and won’t interact with anything else you might be taking. This is good practice normally, but even more important for those who are pregnant.
      Cheers!

      Reply
  5. I also took some cod liver oil with me on a flight and
    They scanned it. Wondering if it is still safe to take…
    Amy

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  6. I have been reading all the comments and am concerned about something. I recently flew and carried on a weekend’s worth of cod liver oil, which went through the bag scanner. Is it safe to take? Or should I just forgo the oil for the weekend? Also, I will definitely be opting out of the scanner when I fly back! Thanks so much for the info!

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  7. There is an “Opt out” law. You have the right to opt out. When my husband and i recently opted out they said it could take 30 mins to find a male employee for my husband and a female employee for me. I looked them straight in the eye and in a friendly way said ” I have plenty of time and i don’t mind waiting.” In less than 3 minutes there was someone there for both of us. HAH! They just didn’t want to go through the effort. They asked why we wanted to opt out. I didn’t bother with the health reasons and thought it would fall on deaf ears so I said (which is also true) that I didn’t think anyone had a right to seesuch private parts of me in such details except my husband. When assured they don’t keep the pictures I repeated what I said and they got the point. I was very nice about it and thanked her for accomodating us. Hope this helps.

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  8. Pingback: Metal Detectors How They FunctionBlogging Articles

  9. I always opt out and I’ve just started opting-out my liquids: coconut oil for my coffee and deodorant, mag oil, iodine, toothpaste and colloidial silver. They don’t like it but I tell them I have to ingest this stuff and I don’t want it irradiated. They take the liquids back and swab the outsides of the containers to make sure there is no explosive residue. I’m going to opt-out my vitamins next flight as well.

    I have a website RadiationCausesCancer.com where you can buy a tshirt that has that written on the back. I just got mine and I will wear it next time I fly. I fly 6-8 times a month right now and I’m hoping it generates some questions. The TSA employees and the other passengers have no idea about radiation. The site just has one page (so far) which is a report by the American Cancer Society outlining the many ways radiation causes cancer. If anyone goes to that site and starts opting out because of that tshirt, it will be worth it!

    I heard that occasionally a TSA agent will wear a dosimeter to work hidden under his or her clothes. Everyone who’s done that has quit.

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  10. Iodine protects you from radiation. This is what they give workers at nuclear plants. I take about 30 mg a day.

    My understanding is that, unless you consume something that is radioactive, radiation passes thru you, like a bullet. It doesn’t stay in your body. There’s no “getting rid of it.” It’s already gone.

    The damage done by radiation happens as it’s going thru you. It changes your body at the cellular level. Radiation is like little tiny bullets passing thru your body, tearing up stuff.

    Can you heal from that? The body is pretty amazing. We heal from some pretty hideous illness! Why not radiation damage?

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  11. Security at the airport makes me sick. TSA staff members at my airport look more like criminals than people who are supposed to protect us, to be honest. I have had my luggage broken into in their hands which makes me wonder if they can’t keep my t-shirts safe, I really doubt they can do anything about my personal security. It is my firm belief that use of those scanners are solely for financial benefits to the manufacturers, not our safety. I believe the new scanners are banned in the EU.

    It is sad to see what is becoming of this country… a little bit at a time…

    Diana

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  12. Christine Decarolis November 18, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Sadly, it never occurred to me that those machines exposed me to radiation. The next time I flew I’d have gone blissfully through the box without so much as a thought! Thank you very much for sharing your experience!

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  13. Before news of the scanner thing really broke I walked through one with no knowledge that I had done so at the airport in Kauai, HI. They should have to post a sign, I think. I’m not OK with the images or the radiation.

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  14. Okay, I just flew with the two youngest of my kids. This just gives me chills because the toddler had to walk through herself and I carried the baby through. Plus, I had two bottles of raw milk which I was required to have scanned. They put it in a small round hole, pressed a button, and then gave it back. I asked what they were doing. He said he was scanning it. I asked how the machine worked, he said his job is to press the button and I could have the baby bottles back if they light was green. He gave back both bottles and then I GAVE THEM TO MY KIDS. I didn’t know what else to do. Two flights, a layover and half a day on a plane with no real food available, and two babies who needed milk. Bleech, Wonder what I exposed my babies to now!?!

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  15. I am a flight attendant. Due to the massive outcry from aircrew when the scanners were first introduced, crew in uniform were exempted from using them. We refused to use them and the industry can’t function when the crews won’t go to work. If passengers could organize and refuse to fly, there would be changes.

    I’ve only once been asked to use the scanner, when traveling on company business out of uniform. I opted for a pat down, which I’ve had many, many times before. This time, the process was very uncomfortable, with the TSA agent actually grabbing and poking between my legs. I was horrified and very upset. I’ve had that happen before in the U.K, but they’ve always been physically abusive to flight crews and I expect it there. I wasn’t prepared for the shock of this in the U.S. Now, I always wear my uniform, even if I’m traveling on vacation or other personal business. I get enough radiation exposure just flying so often. I don’t need it going through security. I don’t want naked pictures taken of me. And I don’t want to undergo a gynecological exam multiple times a day just to get to work.

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  16. Hi Sarah,

    I’ve read that food diatomaceous earth is good for radiation. By they way, what do you think about being exposed to wifi in schools?

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  17. Laura Waldo via Facebook November 16, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Sara, it was so nice to meet you this weekend at the conference! I would suggest that anyone traveling/flying contact the TSA Customer Service Center (1-866-289-9673). They will be able to provide you with Points of Contacts for each Airport. I contacted them and explained that I was traveling with my son who is immuno-compromised. I told them that radiation was not an option, he would be wearing a face mask, and fresh gloves would need to be worn if a pat down was necessary. We were also carrying liquid medications that needed to be refrigerated (these of course needed to be tested for explosives). All went well and we had an agent who walked us through the security screening at each airport. It took extra time from a planning perspective but it was worth it!

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  18. OK here is the mistake you made, remember what you say is very important. It is as important as how you say it. You must say loud and clear, several times calmly of course, “I Opt Out””
    If they say ‘what or Huh” you must again state calmly and clearly and as many times as needed, “I Opt Out” !! I want a pat down is not going to cut it.
    Further the machines are all dangerous, all of them no matter what you are told or
    how they look. To learn about radiation detox please go to the Dr Sircus blog, go to the bottom of the page and he has tons of info, in a nutshell you need baking soda and magnesium and iodine. The Modiflan is also good as is asthaxtin. Let’s all help each other
    and work to get rid of this TSA, If we the people all say no, then this deadly security theater is over! This means Everyone has to say “I Opt Out” without fail, everytime they fly!!

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  19. I have to admit I feel a little better knowing that it wasn’t just ME being unaware because the same happened to me (Ontario Airport, California) WITH my 9yo daughter. When I figured out what had happened (about immediately) I was so upset and felt like I had just let down my guard for the health of my child. I felt sick about it, truly. We are driving next year to CA instead.
    Keri Mae\’s last post: Nine Reasons for Unthankfulness

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  20. Hi Sarah,

    I have a two month old and am nursing. In the last month my teeth have become very sensitive to harder foods like nuts. I took cod liver oil during the first month but have run out and not reordered it. Is is possible that the lack of cod liver oil is causing the sensitivity or would something else be the cause? I do drink kefir smoothies and try to eat 2 eggs a day. We only drink raw milk. No liver or organ meats are on the menu though. Thank you for your input or anyone else who adds to it!

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  21. Sarah, so sorry that you went through such a disconcerting and frustrating event! They really are making things so hard for everyone! I am sorry for those who are working in that environment all day long… kinda makes me think of the coal miners of the past…being lied to and having their health stolen! It was a real joy to meet you at the conference; we have come home on fire, from this, our first one! I have been telling everyone who merely leaves a slight gap in the conversation, how WONDERFUL it was to be filled up with great food, great information, and great PEOPLE! Thanks so much! Knowing that you were going to be there was the catalyst to get my daughter and me to move some mountains and go! God bless!

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  22. Hi Sarah! Great to see you there! FYI, here’s the algae supplement Dr Williams was raving about in her evening session:
    http://www.bioage.com/Biosuperfood-BSF/
    It’s not in her book since she learned about it after its publication. I heard breathtaking anecdotes from people who had been taking it. Here’s a little excerpt from the Radical Medicine website materials:
    “BioSuperfood is composed of 4 different algae, originally researched in Russia and used extensively after Chernobyl, it is now hydroponically grown in optimal conditions in Montreal. This “BSF” formula consisting of various blue, green and red algae, including he carotenoid-­â€rich Dunaliella and Astaxanthin-­â€rich Haematococcus, are like little factories, turning out large amounts of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, enzymes, and mixed carotenoids. Some of the species, in fact, contain more nutrition per ounce than anything you can eat…”

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  23. I agree with Sarah, The HealthyHomeEconomist the key is to get a pat-down in public.

    Also please note that you can file a complaint with the TSA that you were deliberately told no by a TSA agent. They are not allowed to do that. Not sure that you’re going to get very far but if people start complaining it will show them that this is not working.

    I refuse EVERY TIME and have instructed every member of my family to refuse. My concern is that this is an open radiation container and even if we don’t go through the machine we are still being exposed by what is not contained in the structure.

    So sorry that this happened to you.

    Be well,
    Mira

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  24. Interestingly enough these backscatter machines are being banned in the EU. http://www.propublica.org/article/europe-bans-x-ray-body-scanners-used-at-u.s.-airports
    I was horrified when coming back from the WAPF conference in Dallas yesterday at the pregnant TSA worker standing right beside the xray machines. I can only imagine what all of that exposure will do to a fetus.
    I’m really relieved to hear that your pat down was not invasive. My mom told the TSA worker a few months ago that she wanted a pat down and the TSA worker said “Trust me, you don’t want to do that.” at which point my mother got radiated.

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  25. It sucks that you were lied, misled, and not granted your right to a pat down. But what dosage did you really receive from the scanner? Best answer I can come up with is 0.1 microsieverts, at maximum, and possibly as little as 0.02 microsieverts. Given that each passenger on the average coast to coast flight in the US gets a 30-40 microsievert dose from the flight itself, it seems there’s little sense in being alarmed about a smidge more radiation from the scanner while traveling. If you’re flying, you’re already putting yourself at much, much greater exposure than the scanner is going to give you. Personally, I’d object much more strongly to the invasion of privacy than an extra 0.1 microsieverts of radiation.
    Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife\’s last post: A Nice Barter Arrangement

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  26. Dora Papay via Facebook November 15, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I had to stand in several of those in the USA and Europe on my last trip, while pregnant too! I thought they worked more like a mythographer.

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  27. I opted for the pat-down recently at Houston Hobby airport. They had signs advising travelers that they had the right to ask for this instead of the scan. Seems to me this signage should be mandatory at every scanner station. Pat-down was not especially intrusive or traumatic. I felt like I had literally dodged a bullet!

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  28. I just had a lot of xrays taken at my chiropractor. I think it was good because now we know what I have going on, but I didn’t like that he took so many. What would you do after getting xrays? I’m nursing do you think it can hurt my baby?

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      • I am pretty sure radiation doesn’t actually linger in your body. Instead, it instantly causes minor cell damage which can progress to mutations. Antioxidants like spirulina help with that. BUT, since it’s cell damage and not actual radiation floating through your body, I do not believe it would harm your nursling at all. You may want to wait awhile before nursing if possible, so that any milk that was in your breasts at the time has time to be renewed.
        Sheila\’s last post: Lessons learned from my first garden

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  29. Sarah,

    During the post Chernobyl time, they gave children and others spirulina as a way to remove the toxic radiation, or rather, allow the body to detox with the help of the spirulina. If you do a search you can read about all of it. Apparently, it was quite effective.

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  30. I canNOT believe the misinformation out there!! My husband and I both chose the pat down when we flew home from L.A. last week. Like your experience, the TSA agents were very pleasant, we didn’t feel violated in any way, and overall it just wasn’t a big deal.
    Have you considered contacting someone in authority at the TIA airport so this situation can be avoided for other travelers?
    Lori @ Laurel of Leaves\’s last post: Beef & Broccoli Curry

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  31. I’ve found in many of the big airports that if I watch the security lines closely, there are usually several lines and only one goes to the “big box”. If you look ahead and see that there is one, try to get into a line that allows you to go though the regular scanner.

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  32. Sarah, try to get your hands on some Astaxanthin. One of the most potent, powerful, radiation-fighting antioxidants on the planet. If you know you have to fly, especially during the day, you should be taking at least 4 mg of it daily for at least a couple weeks to offer your body some protection. But the best thing to do is avoid flying during mid-day — you’ll be exposed to way more radiation just by being that much closer to the sun, than you will at the airport body scan. Dr. Mercola recommends always trying to fly at night when you can, for this reason.

    I’m so sorry you had to experience this! How frustrating. Good for you for being gracious enough to not blame the TSA agent for spreading the misinformation and not allowing you a pat-down. You’re right that it probably wasn’t his fault for thinking that nor was it his idea. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Emily @ Butter Believer\’s last post: Sunday School: Real Food Link Love + Blog Carnival #4

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  33. People need to demand change.. Vote for Ron Paul, know your rights. These airport scanners are nothing more than “cancer in a box”. Dont be afraid to tell others in line with you at the airport….many are just not informed.

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    • I’m with you there! We freedom-lovers have really got to stick together, and really I think most people really do want their freedom!

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  34. That is absurd! You should report that agent. I opt out of the scans every time. What amazes me is how people are so indifferent and just go along with it.

    I also saw in the Tampa airport a guard with some kind of scanner at the gate. He was scanning people’s drinks. These are drinks that they bought once they passed through security. It was a random thing, but people were willingly walking over to him and wanting their drinks scanned. It was insane.
    Mike Lieberman\’s last post: What Will You Be Making For Thanksgiving From Your Garden?

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  35. I just got back from the WAP conference too … and was confronted with the body scanner both directions – I always seem to get chosen for it. I “opted out” both ways. Interestingly in Dallas on my way home, the TSA agent who gave me the pat down asked if I always opt out. I said I definitely do. Then she said she didn’t blame me. She went on to say that a doctor from New York had come through earlier in the day, and while she gave her the pat down, the doctor told her she should take epsom salt baths everyday as she works next to this machine all day long. It made me feel so sad for this and other unsuspecting TSA workers; at least I could walk away. I wondered if maybe this doctor was also returning home from the conference! In any case thought I would pass along the information. Sorry that happened to you – but hopefully with all the good nutritional support over the weekend your body is better able to handle it.

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  36. Eny Palosi via Facebook November 15, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I was only 4 weeks pregnant when I had to go thru that thing and by the time I realized what they made me do, it was too late. I was so angry. But thankfully my baby is as healthy as she can be.

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  37. My 90 year old mother recently visited and when I took her to the airport to return home I was given the option to accompany her to the gate. The “check in” counter guy had to issue me a pass. I asked him if I would be required to go through a body scanner in order to do so? I told him I would not be going to the gate if it was required. He told me he didn’t know if they were using body scanners that day but that they are just a part of the time we all now live in. (Implying I should get over it) I told him “it is also a sign of the times that people will can refuse to fly because of the scanners”. He looked a little surprised I was so out spoken.

    I don’t plan on flying anywhere unless I absolutely have to. If everyone did this the lack of business for the airlines might make them rethink their use. But most people just fall into line and don’t seem educated about this subject.

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  38. “Lemming like” behavior is actually a misnomer from a scam foisted on us as kids from the folks at Disney ! The filmakers intentionally through Lemmings off of a cliff and filmed them ! Google it !……I was told by a clerk at the drugstore as she asked me if I had a flu shot that mercury was simply a preservative. She laughed nervously as she said it …..

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  39. Sorry this happened to you Sarah. The scanners have been in at least part of TIA for some time. We last flew out of USAirways terminal in Jan 2011 and there were some there then. It was just after all the press and the man that had his phone’s video going thru security came out. I checked online and could find no info that there were scanners yet at TIA. We were disgusted that our choices were radiation or being groped, but we decided to opt out if it there were scanners.

    When we arrived at security, we saw some scanners. Not many yet, but still. There was just one line but then you would be either directed to the metal detector or the scanner last second, so you couldn’t switch lines. 2 of us made it thru the metal detector, 1 was directed to the body scanner. We were so grateful our daughter, age 12, was not selected. I most worried about her, not wanting the radiation, but also not wanting to subject her to a pat down either. My husband was selected and opted out. They were nice about it, which surprised me after the press we had been reading at the time about it being yelled out, etc. The pat down wasn’t as bad as some we’d read about, and the TSA agent who did it was friendly. You still feel violated needing to be groped like that though. A crazy choice you have to make to get on a plane that is no safer after the ordeal and millions of dollars spent to “protect” us.

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  40. Wow.. thanks for this Sarah! We’ll be flying next summer (I’m in Atlanta) so I’ll be on the lookout for the machines. I have 2 boys (they will be 2.5 and almost 8 when we fly) and I definitely don’t want them exposed to radiation. I don’t recall this type of machine when I flew earlier this year in May… must be new. Good to know!!
    M1ssDiagnosis, I believe you can ask for a check by hand for any item that goes through the machine. People do it with breastmilk and medicine all the time.

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  41. Daryl L. Rogers via Facebook November 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    they lied to me too when I went to NYC last month…I was PISSED when I found out…i was more than willing to do a pat down instead

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  42. Not only are those machines harmful, but they are completely invasive to your privacy. They are basically looking at you naked. So really you’re being molested whether you choose the pat-down or the scanner. But with the pat-down at least you don’t get the radiation.

    With all the newer guidelines about liquids, I’ve been wondering for awhile what you can do about liquids like essential oils, herbal tinctures, etc that you might be carrying on. Is there a way to prevent those from going through the scanners that you put your carry-ons through?
    M1ssDiagnosis\’s last post: My Good Samaritan

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    • I was wondering if anyone was going to mention that! I’m positive they’re not telling the TSA agents about the radiation … otherwise they couldn’t get them to operate the scanners! The rank-and-file of the TSA isn’t told all the information they need to know — instead they are given “talking points” that they are supposed to say, and phrases they are supposed to use to respond to objections.

      But someone definitely does know about the radiation and wants to keep it secret, because they aren’t allowing pilots and TSA agents to wear radiation badges to detect how much radiation they’re getting. Nurses and doctors who use X-rays have to wear them, but no one going through the scanners is ALLOWED to!
      Sheila\’s last post: Lessons learned from my first garden

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  43. As someone who flies all around the country every week and consistently opts out (I actually am pregnant) I totally know what you mean. Some have no problem with it, and others debate me and try to still get me to go through the old-style metal detectors. I insist that I have the right to opt out and sometimes they even get the manager, but so far, they’ve always let me. But it’s a shame that they don’t all know the rules.

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  44. I haven’t been to an airport in 3 years and have no desire to go anymore. When I was a kid it was fun and exciting. They have certainly taken the fun out of flying. It is pretty disgusting to hear that the TSA agents are lying to people. These days whenever someone tells me such and such is perfectly safe I have my doubts. I think the terrorists are winning on this front because the steps we take to find them are making us sick.

    Would love to hear about your experience at the conference, maybe in an upcoming post?

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  45. Knocked Up and Nursing November 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Yeah , radiation is a concern but has anyone thought about the fact that they are taking pictures of your naked body?! They are suppose to “delete” the pictures right after they see them but who really believes that?

    Reply
      • I feel the same as you Sarah. Don’t know why! I don’t mean to invalidate the feeling of people who are sensitive to the pat-downs or “naked pics” – it just doesn’t really bother me. And I’m no exhibitionist! I’ve seen the “naked pics” on news stories about these scanners, and they’re not exactly playboy pictorials. You can’t even see the face. Of course I still opt out for health reasons. I’ve never felt violated when receiving a pat-down for security reasons. Maybe it’s a little annoying to have to wait longer but that’s the only bothersome part for me.

        Reply
  46. Audrey Hoff via Facebook November 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Calcium Bentonite Clay is used for radiation detox, also spirulina in fairly high dosages. Also baths with epsom salts and baking soda. Google natural ways to detox from radiation.

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  47. Sarah,

    After reading of your experience, I felt better about my strict avoidance of anything that looked like a scanner when I flew in July. I felt everyone around me thought I was nuts, but sometimes you just can’t worry about that. I’ve been on Bee’s healing detox diet for over two years, and went there to see if she had anything to say about getting rid of radiation. I copied and pasted a couple paragraphs from Bee’s Website that address the use of true niacin to rid body of radiation. Best!
    Vicki

    Note: If you cannot buy a vitamin B complex that contains niacin, you should buy “true” niacin (B3) separately and take it in addition to the vitamin B complex. Niacin causes a flush, which includes red and itchy skin, but that is because it dilates blood vessels, even the tiniest capillaries, which releases radiation and other toxins from the body.

    Radiation from the sun, microwaves, cell phone towers, computers, TVs, X-Rays, MRIs, Ultrasound, etc. and many other sources, along with many other toxins, build up in the body — remember all those terrible sunburns? Radiation is flushed out by taking Niacin, which also helps the body get rid of heavy metals and it oxygenates the body. Note: A high good fats diet also helps get rid of toxins and heavy metals, but niacin is the best nutrient for getting rid of radiation.

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  48. Yes, these machines seem to becoming more common, even at the Regional airport. Just remember two words “OPT OUT”. They know what this means. And guess what, if everyone opted out we would all win.

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  49. Wow. They lied to me in Dallas too. They told me it was magnetic and that there was no radiation. But I was suspicious of that too so I requested the manual patdown instead.

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  50. Edgar Cayce once told a man to carry a piece of a certain kind of metal in his pocket, to optimize the ionization of his body & prevent colds. When that nuclear reactor broke down in Japan (radioactive particles do their damage by creating ionizing radiation into the environment), I decided to make some of these “coins” or “Energy Discs” for myself, friends and family:

    http://radialappliance.teslabox.com/cayce-on-radiation/
    http://radialappliance.teslabox.com/store/carbon-steel-coin/

    “Do not take this as being something of superstition, or as something that would be a good luck charm, – but if the entity will wear about its person, or in its pocket, a metal that is carbon steel – preferably in the groin pocket – it will prevent, it will ionize the body – from its very vibrations – to resist cold, congestion, and those inclinations for disturbance with the mucous membranes of the throat and nasal passages.” [Cayce reading #1842-1]

    “Cold Coin” is a trademarked term owned by Baar Products LLC – some positive reports on the technology can be found online with this search term…

    hth,
    James Knochel

    Reply
  51. I just flew in and out of Tampa International this past weekend for another conference. I asked for a patdown instead of the scanner and they said, “Are you worried about radiation?” I said yes, and they said “Oh, it’s sound waves, there’s no radiation involved.” I just looked at the woman and stuck to my guns about wanting to bypass the scanner. They then yelled at top volume, “We have a REFUSAL!” The woman who did the manual search was actually very nice and said that while she personally wasn’t worried about the scanners, “I’m sure we don’t know all there is to know about them.” She said they only get about 10 refusals a day, which means that most people are just blindly marching in there.

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  52. I read an in-depth article about the dangerous backscatter machines vs the much less dangerous scanners, but didn’t know how to tell which it was. I was told by 3 different TSA agents that the machine used no radiation. I requested a patdown, but talking to them while waiting for a female agent to do it, they clarified that this was not a backscatter machine, no xrays or body image, but used radio waves – they asserted that you get more radiation from your cell phone. In the end I went ahead through it. I’m more concerned about the agents’ constant exposure vs my occasional travel.
    Gigi\’s last post: Yet Another Grain-Free Muffin Recipe (Blueberry Muffins)

    Reply
  53. This just happened to me too! I have been requesting the pat downs since the scanners first hit my local airport. Week before last, during the pat down, the female agent gave me a whole speech on how the media has been “blowing it out of proportion” when it comes to potential radiation exposure and how they are “completely harmless.” I wonder if there has been some sort of education put out by TSA to try and discourage the pat downs due to holiday travel getting ready to increase (and the extra time that it requires)?

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  54. Mendy Cleveland via Facebook November 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Dr. Mercola had an article recently about radiation exposure from these scanners and spirulina. The same thing happened to me when I flew a few weeks ago.

    Reply
  55. :( We even have one of those in Spokane… the first time I flew after they installed it there was no line for the regular metal detector and they insisted I get in the line for the naked body cancer causing scanner… I told him I was going to opt out. Most of the agents are reasonable, but some of them are sticklers. Maybe your agent was waiting for the magic words of “opt out” instead of “pat down”. [I believe that is the "official" terminology when you don't want to go through that scanner... so next time when he denies your pat down say "oh, in that case I opt out".] Sorry you had to go through that.

    On an interesting related note on the times I’ve traveled since they’ve installed that scanner I found it interesting that the ONLY other people I ever saw opt out were pilots and flight crews.

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  56. I too refused the scanner on the way to the conference in the Denver airport. The guy I said no to tried to talk me into it telling me that there wasn’t any radiation, it was more like a sonogram and if I refused they would pat me down. He said this threatningly as though to intimidate me into compliance. I said I didn’t care how much they felt me up, I wasn’t going through the machine. The woman who gave me the pat down was really nice, we joked around and it really wasn’t a big deal.

    The scary thing is that my husband prefers the scanner. He has hip implants so it is easier for him to go through the scanner now. He is convinced it is safe.

    If everyone refuses the machine they will have to come up with something different becuase they won’t be able to pat down all passengers.

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  57. We traveled last week and I opted for the pat down after being randomly selected from the other line. The lady rolled her eyes and said “It’s no different than watching tv for a couple of hours – it’s really safe.” She was trying to get me to change my mind. I just said, “I understand. We don’t watch tv either.” She rolled her eyes again but I finally did get the pat down instead.

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  58. Lorraine Cassista via Facebook November 15, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I had a TSA agent lie to me as well in Salt Lake City in May of this year. She said to empty my pockets and continue on through for a pocket check. When I asked if that’s all it was, she said “Yes, it’s just a pocket check. Now keep moving.” After i stepped into the machine, I realized it was really a body scanner. I asked the other TSA agent in front of me and he confirmed it. i said I didn’t want to get scanned. He did give me the option of stepping out, but there was a line collecting behind me and I wasn’t sure if the TSA would make a big deal of it so I opted to get scanned. I don’t intend to let it happen again though.

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  59. While flying recently I came across a body scanner and I chose to have a pat down instead. I however was not treated with the respect that you got. I was ordered to sit in a chair and wait for a female officer to do that pat down. The way they placed the chair where I waited I think was deliberately made in order to humiliate the person who declined the scanner. I waited for about 5 minutes while I watched mothers with young children going through the magnitron (old style) with no waiting. After asking how long I would have to wait I was told I was waiting for a female to search me. Finally she showed up and did the search which I was fine with. The women who did the pat down was very pleasant , but the one that made me sit in the “dunce” chair was not. I will continue to decline the scanners despite that treatment. While the dose of radiation is small it goes all over your body and is actually a large exposure to your skin. I believe there will be an increase in skin cancer from the use of these machines and I don’t think they make anyone safer.

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  60. I doubt this site will allow me to post a url, but I would recommend that anyone concerned about this backscatter technology search for EPIC and their FOIA on the backscatter machines. You will find documents from both NIST and Johns Hopkins that state unequivocally that there exists radiation overshoot due to a lack of shielding. Both organizations warned the TSA that being too close to those machines for too long may expose a person to excessive amounts of radiation.

    Reply
  61. SAME experience flying in and out of Dallas. What I got was a sign that read if I denied the scanner I would receive a complete and thorough pat down, which I am ashamed to say intimidated me. I am so disgusted with myself for not preparing for this ahead of time, but it is yet another thing on the list of uninformed decisions we are battling every day. It was lovely chatting with you at the conference Sarah. Blessings!

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  62. Nichole Sawatzky via Facebook November 15, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Seriously! I just posted this on my personal page: Just heard an airport security tell a pregnant mama the scan wouldn’t affect her baby.

    Reply
  63. Wow – that is crazy that they wouldn’t let you do a pat down. Who cares if that guy believed it or not, that sounds like a violation.

    As we know from all the great talks at the conference, eating a diet rich in fermented foods helps to chelate heavy metals and even radiation from the body. Check out this article about Kombucha and radiation – http://www.kombuchakamp.com/2011/03/kombucha-tea-radiation-prevention-and-cancer-treatments.html
    Hannah\’s last post: Food Rebels Wanted

    Reply
  64. The same thing happened to me in the Tampa Airport about a year or year-and-a-half ago, Sarah. Feels totally violating and I dealt with “female problems” afterward. But, how about instead of us all coming up with reasons and excuses as to why we won’t comply, why don’t we just be honest — it’s downright unhealthy (and these operators need to know it). <3

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  65. I flew recently and both the full-body scanners and the idea of a pat-down made my skin crawl… Thankfully, I had my 18 month old daughter with me both ways and was carrying her. Both times they just directed me to the regular ol’ metal-detector-thing line because of her… Thank goodness.

    They did do a thorough inspection of her small sippy cup full of water, though… I guess it looked suspicious. ;)

    But all joking aside, I am also at a dilemma when it comes to whether I want to continue to fly. My family lives 1200 miles away, and though we drive sometimes, there are other times when flying is almost a necessity. I have come to absolutely dread it, though…

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  66. I requested and received a pat down in Dallas yesterday as well. I call it my pre-flight mini massage which made the woman who gave it to me laugh. I asked her what they did for children since I have avoided putting my 13 year old daughter on a plane recently because of this. She said she does a modified one for kids so that it is less invasive. I was glad to hear that. She also told me that they are trying to phase out the pat downs…….not a good thing.

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  67. Pat-down “no big deal?” Maybe I am old-fashioned, but I believe I have the fundamental right to choose who gets to touch us and who gets to see us naked. What may not be a big deal for one person could be a huge deal for another. Nobody has the right to force others through such a policy saying “it’s no big deal.”

    That these pat-downs “keep us safe” is a myth. How will groping your underwear and confiscating your bottle of shampoo and toenail clippers going to protect from a Timothy McVeigh or Moscow airport style attack (where the perpetrator wasn’t near a crowd of people) or from an anti-aircraft missile?

    Reply
  68. Lisa Crawford via Facebook November 15, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Tampa to Dallas is only a (very long) day’s drive. If I can drive somewhere in a day, I’m not interested in the radiation or the pat down, thank!

    Reply
  69. Sarah were you there when Jenny was telling us how she and her family bought a fuel friendly car and aren’t planning on flying again unless it’s to an overseas location? Pretty sad that it has come to this.

    Until I read your post I hadn’t even thought about all the radiation those security officials are getting all day every day, how scary for them! Although maybe they’re clueless like the guy you spoke to.

    What do you know about how much radiation we are exposed to just from flying on the plane?

    Besides all that it was a great weekend and I loved seeing you and everyone! :)

    Kelly

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  70. yep–the TSA tend to lie like dogs at the airports. No offense to dogs. Our family simply does not fly because of this–we drove from VA to TX and back just to avoid the TSA.

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  71. We used Zeolite to help get rid of radiation. We actually used Zeoforce, which is Healthforce Nutritional’s brand of powdered zeolite.

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  72. And this is why my family has planned to drive to visit my parents for Thanksgiving (even with a 3 year old from OH to FL- god save my sanity). I can’t handle subjecting them to this craziness anymore, especially as much as we travel, since we just got out of the military and our family is still pretty scattered.

    Reply
    • my poor husband was subjected to the scanner on both flights the one leaving Ft. Laurdale and Dallas! It was our first experience with scanners, I on the other hand was allowed thru the old metal dectector with our 4 children. I wondered if he had been exposed to radiation, and asked him too. SO glad that I didn’t have to go thru the scanner since I have nodules on my thyroid! My endocrinologist is saying that even dental xrays are not safe!!!!

      Reply
  73. Lilly Nelson Himrod via Facebook November 15, 2011 at 11:05 am

    This is why I avoid major airports LOL We flew out of St. Pete/Clearwater airport recently and they only had one of the new body scanner machines and one of the old style metal detector ones, I just got in the line for the old style one and nobody said anything to me. I don’t know what I would have done if they tried to make me go through the radiation scanner… I didn’t really want my toddler subjected to a patdown OR radiation, so I’m glad I had the option to go through the old style one (for now, at least…) I hate the fact that there is one MORE thing to stress me out about flying.

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  74. Kim Billings Wooten via Facebook November 15, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Wondering what the TSA has up its’ sleeve for the cars they plan to stop at random on the hwy, starting with Tennessee! Pretty soon, no one will be ‘out of their reach’, literally speaking!

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  75. Because of all this nonsense, my husband and I have already decided to drive to visit family for Thanksgiving instead of fly (with a 3 year old from OH to FL- wish me luck). I just can’t keep subjecting my family to this madness.

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  76. I haven’t flown since all of this started. I’ve used the excuse that I have very young children, but I’m truly appalled and just haven’t dealt with this newest violation. I was glad to hear that the pat-down was appropriate because it just might allow me a decent option in the event I fly again. I’ve been scared of both pat downs and The MACHINE.
    Chaya\’s last post: APO/FPO Free Shipping Code 2

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  77. Hey Sarah! My husband and I both refused te body scanner as well! I was fully prepared to tell them I was pregnant but they accepted a simple no answer instead. My husband told them he couldn’t bc of his “job” and it would affect his arm. I called it Radiation vs Molestation! Lol My husband was not lightly patted down although he would choose that any day over being slammed with radiation! I have heard that simply walking barefoot on the earth will detox you from radiation. I’m sure its not as aggressive as other approaches though.
    It was great chatting with you over the weekend!! Hugs!

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  78. Tom Bolander via Facebook November 15, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Sounds like the US Surgeon General is sleeping & not telling us the dangers that are silently building up in those that get those killer scans regularly….

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  79. Sarah, the same thing happened to me at the San Antonio Airport…except the official told me that the they weren’t doing pat downs because the machine was “broken” and there was no radiation, so just walk on through. I later saw a woman with hip disks getting a pat down after me. Needless to say, I was furious 1)that I was blatantly lied to 2)that, in my hurry and fluster with a fussy toddler, I actually bought his lie. 3) There was a possibility I could have been pregnant at the time and I object to radiation even more when in those first crucial weeks. My advice…be a loud and authoritative so they know you’re a person who knows you’re rights and won’t take their bullsh**! Don’t get in trouble, but don’t look like someone who can be easily cowed because there’s often a bully who will take advantage of you – to the detriment of your health!

    Reply
    • Thank you for this article and comment! I’m pregnant and will be flying for the Holidays. I will insist on the pat down. Thank you for this great advice.

      Reply
  80. Stephanie Sorensen via Facebook November 15, 2011 at 10:51 am

    You know, I just went through one of those at the Seattle-Tacoma airport on Sunday. I was wary of it too; however, I did not request a pat-down. In Atlanta, I got both. Apparently, I was “specially chosen.”

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    • this happened to me in burlington vermont.. i was the special one.. but they were nice about it, and i never felt violated..

      -jason and lisa-

      Reply
  81. Homeopathy, Sarah! Call Joette Calabrese who writes for WAPF Journal. She just recently had an article about this very subject (and one on your site yesterday as well!).

    Reply

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