Did I cause BBC Manchester to publish this story about the EU banning X-Ray body scanners?

Not actually a serious question. But I guess it could be a possibility.

Just after lunch I caught this story on the Dvoraq Uncensored Blog regarding the X-Ray body scanners in use within some of the UK’s biggest airports, including my local one in Manchester.

The post covers this story from Scientific America.

The basic upshot is that the EU, for reasons that cannot yet be ascertained (because I can assume our health wasn’t a factor, so it must be money), have banned the X-Ray backscatter devices that are in current use in Manchester, Heathrow etc etc.

This comes just a month after the BBC ran this little “science” piece to show us how SAFE it was.

Anyway, the EU isn’t quite so convinced and as a result THEY ARE BANNED. However, the UK can still run it’s trial (or TRAIL) as the BBC put in it’s post (I’m sure that’ll get corrected soon) until November 2012. By which time, who knows how many people might have been nuked! (joke)

Back to the story.

So around 8 hours ago I posted this tweet.

@BBCNWT EU has BANNED the X-Ray body scanners used in UK airports (like Manchester). See Scientific America scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id…

Now this appears to have upset somebodies little Applecart, because this story has appeared on the MANCHESTER version of the BBC News site (NOTE: It’s LOCAL ONLY).

Manchester airport backs body scanners tested by EU

Passenger body scanners, currently being used at Manchester Airport, are to be tested by the European Commission to assess if they pose a health risk.

Manchester has been trialling back scatter body scanners in security checks since 2009.

The airport will continue using the scanners while the European Commission tests are carried out.

The UK Health Protection Agency has already assessed that the scanners pose a “negligible” risk to health.

‘Trail will continue’

The European Commission has stopped any further trials of scanners using x-rays while they are tested by its specialist health committee, which is expected to report in March 2012.

Manchester Airport has been given permission to continue trialling the scanners until November 2012.

The back scatter scanners use a low dose of x-rays to scan through clothing producing “naked” images of passengers.

The x-ray dose has been assessed as being equivalent to that received in less than two minutes of flying in an airline at cruising height.

A spokesperson for Manchester Airport said: “Extensive tests by the UK Health Protection Agency and the US health authorities have already confirmed that back scatter body scanners pose a negligible risk to human health.

“It is irresponsible to suggest that because Europe has yet to complete its own health study, our passengers should be concerned.

“European legislation issued this week has approved millimetre wave, another form of body scanner technology, for permanent use at airports.

“While its study is under way, an extension of the trial of back scatter body scanners at Manchester Airport has been approved by the European Commission until November 2012.

“Given that all of the relevant authorities support the use of back scatter body scanners, the trial will continue.”

The story was posted here. And just in case they change the story, here is a PDF of the original post (include typo). BBC News – Manchester airport backs body scanners tested by EU.

So what do you think? Do you think the prospect of a Scientific American story covering the safety issues caused the BBC to publish this load of old crap?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m alone in tweeting this. But I’m definitely the only person to Tweet the story to them.

I’m going to end up on a list aren’t I? 🙂 he he he


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