November 2010
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Pilots propose body scan boycott

Source ABC News

Australian pilots are monitoring moves by their American counterparts who have been told to boycott controversial full-body scanners that capture images of a passenger’s naked body. The Allied Pilots Association, which represents more than 12,000 pilots in the US, says the security devices at airports pose serious health risks and breach privacy.

With the technology soon to be introduced in Australia, the vice-president of the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA), Captain Richard Woodward, says pilots here have similar concerns. “The principal issue is not only privacy. It’s total radiation exposure,” he said. “The allowable limit for radiation workers is 20 mSv per annum. And the average pilot, depending on where they’re flying, gets between three and six.

“For instance, if you fly to London or over to South America it’s equivalent to a chest X-ray every time you fly. “So radiation is cumulative and going through these machines would just add to the radiation, the total radiation the crew are getting exposed to.”

In April of this year a letter of concern was sent to to the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology in the United States by a group of concerned scientists stressing the need for further testing of the scanners. They were concerned that the level of radiation to the skin is dangerously high.

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