Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 2nd Dec 2011 12:12 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption If you're modest, think twice before having sex in your van, truck, or RV. Law enforcement uses roving vans with backscatter X-ray technology to peer inside vehicles (the same technology used in airport body scanners). In the Land of the Free, authorities don't request search warrants. More at Forbes here and here. What, you don't want an X-ray bath?
Thread beginning with comment 498768
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: Radiation?
by Buzzila on Fri 2nd Dec 2011 22:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Radiation?"
Buzzila
Member since:
2011-12-02

Any dose of ionising radiation has inherent harm through stochastic effects - a several photons could cause a double-strand break which can lead to cancer; given enough radiation, deterministic effects will occur, so epilation and erythema.

I'd be very concerned over the exposure used on these machines - x-ray photons abide the inverse square law, and as mentioned before, it will be attenuated by metal sheeting twice and the contents of the car before being detected. The dose received will invariably be high - even more so if you stand next to the car.

If a pregnant woman and small children would particularly be at risk; furthermore, the skin dose received from these machines is likely to be very high (like the back-scatter machines), again, increasing the likelihood of cancer and other affects.

This is also not taking into consideration the care and quality assurance the machines may or may not be getting. In the UK, x-ray based machinery (in addition to other imaging technology used), by law, has to be constantly assessed in-house and by medical physicist in addition to maintained to ensure that everything is working safely; it is probable that these do not (there was an article on 400 people receiving a dose a lot higher from a CT exam).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Radiation?
by Alfman on Fri 2nd Dec 2011 23:32 in reply to "RE[2]: Radiation?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Buzzila,

Are you able to speak authoritatively on the matter? That'd be very cool.

I'm curious how often cellular mutations naturally occur and what, if anything, is the typical outcome of such mutations.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Radiation?
by Jondice on Sat 3rd Dec 2011 23:56 in reply to "RE[3]: Radiation?"
Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20

Buzzila has the right of it.

"Mutations" occur very frequently - tens of thousands per cell per day, but a very high frequency of them are repaired. See e.g. Friedberg, et al. DNA Repair and Mutagenesis, p.16.

Knowing this, it is perhaps good to know that the risk of cancer from additional radiation is extremely low, but bad to know that randomly speaking someone could get cancer (in fact it may even be highly likely that some few people get cancer because of the stunts our government is pulling.) I'm sure that is all very acceptable for them, as long as they can claim it is "safe".

Edited 2011-12-03 23:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2