The Department of Homeland Security, after being criticized by the general public and politicians, is launching a complete safety study of the scanners that are used to screen passengers at airports all across the nation.


The review of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is performed by the National Academy of Science, a nonprofit group of scientists, to study the safety of the radiation emitted by scanners. Susan Collins, a senator from Maine, says that while the amount of radiation that passengers are exposed to is small when going through the scanners once, it is concerning what that means for frequent flyers, who may be exposed several times a week.

Currently TSA uses two types of full-body scanners used to look for hidden objects underneath passenger’s clothing. These two types of scanners are:

  • Non-ionizing radio frequency energy scanners – These are your typical security scanners seen at arenas and airports for decades.
  • Backscatters – Backscatter scanners are the controversial machines. They use X-ray technology, which is a health concern for some Americans from passenger advocates, to scientists, and even professors from UC San Francisco. European airports banned the technology last year after the European Union was fed up with complaints of health concerns.

The National Academy of Science will get a contract to put together a committee to review if the backscatter machines are unhealthy for frequent travelers, people who operate the machines daily, and general airport employees.  Also, they will decide if the procedure can be changed to limit overexposure of individuals. There is no current timeline on when the review will be completed.

At OSSI the health and safety of our employees is very important. We have employees that travel through airports many times a month, so we will be watching the results of these studies very closely.

Whatever your needs are, OSSI-USA has you covered. From schools to airports, we have the right solution for your security needs. Give OSSI a call today at (888)488-2623 or (262) 522-1870 for an Integrator near you.