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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Australian airport scanners are not proven safe and they impinge on basic human rights

"Electromagnetic fields and radiation damage DNA and enhance cell death rates and therefore they are a Ubiquitous Universal Genotoxic Carcinogen that enhances the rates of Cancer, Cardiac, Reproductive and Neurological disease and mortality in human populations. 

Therefore there is no safe threshold level. The only safe exposure level is zero, a position confirmed by dose-response trends in epidemiological studies."
Associate Professor, Dr Neil Cherry

Dr Neil Cherry (1946 -2003) held the position of Associate Professor of Environmental Health at Lincoln University, New Zealand. Sadly, he is no longer with us.  Dr Cherry passed away in 2003 from the complications of motor neurone disease. Motor neurone disease happens to be associated with the very environmental pollutant that Dr Cherry was researching: Non-ionising forms of radiation! 

Was it sheer coincidence that he contracted this rare disease of the nervous system, or was it caused by his work? Sadly, we will never know because he is a study of one.

Full body scanners are now in Australian airports

"Body scanners are "safe".
Source: Australian Dept of Infrastructure and Transport.

Who do you believe: The conclusions of Associate Professor, Neil Cherry or an un-referenced statement in a Government brochure?  By coincidence, the kind of radiation used in the Australian airport scanners are the same kind of radiation that Dr Cherry was exposed to when taking readings out in the field when doing his research.  

Recently, a close friend, was required to undergo a full body microwave scan before flying from Australia to New Zealand.  He was a bit grumpy when I collected him from Wellington airport.  I think it was because he felt his freedom of choice had been trampled upon.  Being a health professional with many years of experience working with xray imaging equipment, he is well aware of the lifetime hazards of exposure to any form of radiation, be it ionising or non-ionising.

He was prepared to strip naked before strangers rather than be subjected to the radiation scan; but was not given the choice.

Unlike places like the USA, if you are selected for a full body radiation scan by Australian authorities and you refuse, you will be stood down for 24 hours.  There is no option for a friendly pat-down, or to strip naked.  What this means is you will miss your flight and you must bear the full cost of rebooking your flights and any other penalties and disruptions.

The PR tells us that these airport radiation scanners are completely safe.  This is complete rubbish.  There is no proof of safety.  We will only know for sure, one way or another, some 20 years from now.  We all know about the connection with maternal xrays that were freely administered during the 50's and 60's and the consequent epidemic of childhood leukaemia don't we?  Well, it took decades after the introduction of medical xrays and countless thousands of deaths before the proof was sufficient to motivate positive action to protect the public.

Whether a form of radiation is ionising or non-ionising it still has the potential to harm you in many ways, including causing cancer and motor neurone disease.  Dr Cherry's research and his own demise is convincing of this.

My sister, Delwyn, and her husband, Brian, are both radar engineers.  Delwyn has told me that she refuses to enter any microwave or xray airport body scanner - and for good reason - all radiation, as reported by Dr Cherry, has the potential to cause irreparable genetic harm.  She opts for the pat down during her frequent travels.  Australia is no longer a destination for Delwyn and her family because the pat down is not an option over there.  

Instead of holidaying in Australia, they have decided to come to New Zealand this year.

Whoopee! New Zealand's gain is Australia's loss

Let's hope more and more health-conscious tourists do the same as Delwyn and Brian and come to nuclear and radiation-free New Zealand instead of being needlessly irradiated by Australia.

New Zealand: Clean-Green  with the friendly pat-down! 

Australia: The land of fire with the impersonal radiation chamber!

(My sincere apologies to my Australian friends and family: My scathing words are directed at your misguided officials and politicians - not you).

What the officials fail to tell you is that the radiation is concentrated within the first few millimetres of your flesh - which means that, while the total body dose may be very low, your skin, eyes, breasts, thyroid, lymph glands and testis - and possibly even your kidneys, adrenal glands and ovaries - may be getting a significant dose of radiation.  Quite frankly, we get far too much radiation from too many sources as it is without this unnecessary imposition.

If I hold a cell phone against my head, that is my choice.

If I stare into the microwave oven while heating my tea, that is my choice.

If I fly in a plane and subject myself to cosmic rays, that is my choice.

If I have a dental xray, that is my choice.

If I fly out of Australia and am asked to enter the chamber of a radiation-based body scanner, I have no choice.  (This is different from a metal detector, by the way.  Metal detectors are safe).

Having no choice but to be irradiated is unacceptable in a free society.  It tramples on our right not to be irradiated for any reasons other than medical.

Australia - Give the 99.99% of peaceful travellers the option of the friendly pat down.  Please!  Pretty please!

I ask you, my readers, to please oppose the installation of these scanners in our airports (This includes New Zealand and Australia).  If you are selected for a full body scan, claim that you have skin cancer or some rare nerve disease and must not be subjected to any form of radiation.  Get a doctor's letter, if you can.  Opt out and go for the grope, if its available. If the grope is not available, please take the matter up with your Member of Parliament and Prime Minister.

Further reading

Here is some more reading about the safety of xray imaging, including the original scientific article about the dangers of CT scans from the whistle-blower, Dr Semelka: more-about-x-ray-risks

 TSA Waste

About this website
The advice in these articles is given freely without promise or obligation.  Its all about giving you and your family the tools and information to take control of your health and fitness.

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