Flying Health Risks and Concerns Everyone Should Know

by on November 4th, 2010
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Anybody who has spent time flying to any destination knows in order to board their plane they may have to go past a full body scanner as part of the security procedures. The use of this device is controversial as many people fear it may pose health risks. Based on a recent health poll conducted by Thomson Reuters it appears that about one-quarter of Americans said they would refuse a full body scan and 14.9 percent said the new airport security measures have them concerned for their health.

The survey asked people about their opinions and concerns with regard to flight safety. One of the main reasons people did not want to use the new scanners is because of exposure to radiation, which was about 22.6 percent of respondents. Some of the other reasons mentioned were personal privacy violations at 17.1 percent, belief that the use of the scanners violated their 4th Amendment rights at 13.3 percent. Around 47% of the people who responded to the poll expressed no concern with the technology used during airport security procedures.

The full body scanners weren’t the only things that worried people when it came to flying. Eleven percent of all those who responded said they had become ill because of air travel. The top five concerns for Americans were crashing at 21.1 percent, contracting the flu, cold or other disease at 16 percent, air quality at 7 percent, anxiety at 6.8 percent and blood clots at 5 percent.

In a 12/23/11 Press release from Thomson Reuters, Raymond Fabius, M.D., responded to the poll results by stating “”While I applaud the survey participants’ concern with radiation exposure these scanners are safe. Based on the amount of radiation these machines produce a traveler would have to take 2,000 plane rides before being subjected to the equivalence of a single chest x-ray. The much more serious health concerns associated with flying are exposure to communicable illnesses and blood clots during long air excursions. By avoiding traveling when sick and exercising in your seat these risks can be minimized.”


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