The TSA has removed most full-body x-ray scanners from the major U.S. airports, including Los Angeles Airport, Chicago O’Hare Airport, New York John F. Kennedy, Boston Logan and Charlotte-Douglas. The TSA has terminated their contract with Rapiscan Systems, the makers of the scanners.
The decision was made to relieve congestion at security check-points since every image taken had to be checked by a TSA agent. Additionally, Rapiscan Systems could not meet a congressional deadline to produce automatic checks for suspicious items to save time at security check-points.
The scanners were first implemented in 2010 after the failed underwear bombing in December 2009. From the very start, privacy advocates protested these scanners since they produced the images of passengers’ nude bodies.
Additionally, studies conducted by the European Union found that, while the radiation dose from the X-ray scanner was incredibly small, there are estimates that it contributes to 6 to 100 additional cancer cases per year.
Photo credit: Image of X-Ray Scanner is from Propublica