Date: 2011-05-17 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] martinhesselius.livejournal.com

Damn.
I'm confused.

I'm used to using absorbed dose for ionizing radiation (gamma and x-rays, alpha and beta particles, neutrons).
But this stuff is millimeter wavelength (think radar, etc); different hazards.
(Radar and microwaves have longer wavelengths than visible light...
Gamma and x-rays have wavelengths much shorter than visible light.)

Mind, a Gray is an absorbed dose of one joule per kilogram.
So I guess you could TRY to measure absorbed dosage for visible light...
But this stuff has even less energy per photon.

Ultraviolet light can burn you.
ENOUGH visible light can burn you.
Infrared radiation, which we feel as heat, can burn you.
Microwaves (and radio) can cook you, cause cataracts, etc.
So even though this stuff DOESN'T affect you like ionizing radiation --
It's still very, very much worth evaluating.

But...
But...
What they said?
It's like trying to measure the tastiness of a waffle breakfast by "miles per flapjack"...
There MIGHT be some kind tenuous relationship?
But it ain't horribly relevant to anything.

Date: 2011-05-17 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hdiandrew.livejournal.com
mmm ... Miles per flapjack ...

I found Brenner's comments about the difficulties analyzing this really telling, especially since I did just go get a spot checked (benign, thank ya)

Date: 2011-05-17 11:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] martinhesselius.livejournal.com

Hm.

I really think they do need to check on the amounts and possible hazards.

But the machine's not emitting ionizing radiation like x-rays and gamma rays (the usual kinds that cause -- and sometimes helps cure -- cancers), nor ultraviolet radiation (which can readily cause cancer, not that tanning booths advertise such), nor visible light (which doesn't cause cancer but can cause raves and disco), nor infrared radiation (we mammals GLOW at ten microns, whee!). Instead it's microwave or radio wave (would have to check wavelength), which can cause cataracts and burns, but not cancers the way ionizing radiation or ultraviolet (tanning bed) radiation can?

Does that make sense?

Date: 2011-05-17 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] martinhesselius.livejournal.com

For those who don't get what I'm saying, think of this --
How hard is it to swim across the Atlanta Ocean from Boston to Japan?

Date: 2011-05-18 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] martinhesselius.livejournal.com

*Looks at a later comment*

I give up.
"Radiation" is just a magic word meaning "Evil Eye."
*flops, rolls over, plays dead*

Date: 2011-05-18 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hdiandrew.livejournal.com
Evil eye that can see ya nekkid!

I do have my questions about nonionizing radiation. We know ultraviolets can cause cancer, but I sometimes hear ultraviolet radiation described as nonionizing. We don't think other nonionizing energies do (using the term "energies" to avoid the radiation bogeyman), but there are still negative effects from them (strong electromagnetic fields, etc.). I am concerned whenever we introduce a new tech, especially one that focuses on radiating any type of energy, and do not adequately test it. Cell phones may have a non-ionizing energy, but the links to reduced sperm count seem pretty certain.

But I think we are quite in agreement here. Before we force millions of people to go through these, there needs to be substantial, verifiable, reproducible testing.

Date: 2011-05-18 02:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] martinhesselius.livejournal.com

Very much agreed on the testing!

And you're right about non-ionizing radiation having health effects. For example, microwaves can cause cataracts... and we know what happens to our food when we use microwaves to jiggle the water molecules in them!

*checks*
Here's an OSHA page on non-ionizing radiation:
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiation_nonionizing/index.html

Date: 2011-05-17 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arma-padawan.livejournal.com
i think i would opt for a good groping over dubious amounts of radiation

Date: 2011-05-18 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hdiandrew.livejournal.com
Well, come on over!

Date: 2011-05-18 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anaisdjuna.livejournal.com

No doubts on 'em for me. I think they're horrific. Radiating the skin. Violating people's privacy. Just so some of the sheep, who sell their bodies cheap, can pretend to be safe because the gub violates everyone. Who needs to crash planes. The terrorists have weaponized the TSA.

Date: 2011-05-19 02:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] martinhesselius.livejournal.com

Hey!
I was wrong, they use x-rays too!

Here's the FDA info on it:
http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/SecuritySystems/ucm227201.htm

Note:
"A person would have to be screened more than a thousand times in one year in order to exceed the annual radiation dose limit for people screening that has been set by expert radiation safety organizations" is the same as "more than four times a work day." So I'd like to see badges on the TSA workers.

For passengers, it really is pretty low; what they say seems to match what I know:
"The national radiation safety standard (see below) sets a dose per screening limit for the general-use category. To meet the requirements of the general-use category a full-body x-ray security system must deliver less than the dose a person receives during 4 minutes of airline flight. TSA has set their dose limit to ensure a person receives less radiation from one scan with a TSA general-use x-ray security system than from 2 minutes of airline flight."

BUT --
What would the founding fathers think of virtual strip searches, I wonder?
Talk about an "un-warranted" search!

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