Posted: January 11th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian
Millimeter wave machines represent one of two primary technologies currently being used for the “digital strip searches” being conducted at airports around the world. “The Transportation Security Administration utilizes two technologies to capture naked images of air travelers – backscatter x-ray technology and millimeter wave technology,” reports the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a non-profit currently suing the U.S. government to stop these electronic strip searches. (http://epic.org/privacy/airtravel/b…)
In order to generate the nude image of the human body, these machines emit terahertz photons — high-frequency energy “particles” that can pass through clothing and body tissue.
The manufacturers of such machines claim they are perfectly safe and present no health risks, but a study conducted by Boian S. Alexandrov (and colleagues) at theCenter for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico showed that these terahertz waves could “…unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication.”
In layman’s terms, any time you’re talking about interfering with “gene expression” and “DNA replication,” you’re essentially talking about something that could be a risk to human health.
Never approved as safe for humans
“At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss any notion that they can be damaging,” reports TechnologyReview.com (http://www.technologyreview.com/blo…). “But a new generation of cameras are set to appear that not only record terahertz waves but also bombard us with them. And if our exposure is set to increase, the question that urgently needs answering is what level of terahertz exposure is safe.”
And yet no such long-term safety testing has ever been conducted by a third party. There have been no clinical trialsindicating that multiple exposures to such terahertz waves, accumulated over a long period of time, are safe for humans. The FDA, in particular, has never granted its approval for any such devices even though these devices clearly qualify as “medical devices.”
(If you try to sell an X-ray imaging device yourself, without FDA approval, you’ll be arrested. So why do these TSAsuppliers get away with selling human body imaging equipment that has never been adequately safety tested or approved by the FDA?)
The study cited in the TechnologyReview article mentioned above is visible at: http://arxiv.org/abs/0910.5294
There, study authors conclude: “Based on our results we argue that a specific terahertz radiation exposure may significantly affect the natural dynamics of DNA, and thereby influence intricate molecular processes involved in gene expression and DNA replication.”
In other words, millimeter wave scanning devices may damage your DNA.