Security Theatre has lost its porno channel in Europe, but the ones operated by TSA agents in U.S. airports are still showing.
The European Union announced this week that the X-ray scanners the TSA loves so much are being banned because of safety concerns. There are two types of advanced scanners being used in U.S. airports — X-ray machines and millimeter-wave scanners. Only the X-ray machines are considered a health risk. About half of the advanced scanners in use in the United States are the X-ray type.
The TSA claims that in almost two years of use, all of the advanced scanners — of both types combined — have detected “more than 300 dangerous or illegal items.” Of course, if those 300 items were actually dangerous things — as opposed to a a water bottle that was too big or something nutty such as that — they’d tell us what the “dangerous” items are.
Scientific estimates of cancers caused by the X-ray scanners each year range from about six to about 100. Given the fact that Security Theatre is mostly just to make the public feel safe — instead of providing actual safety — it’s time to shut Security Theatre down. But once bureaucrats are committed to a program, they don’t generally back down. Don’t expect the TSA to suddenly start caring about cancer or cost effectiveness. Expect the bureaucrats and politicians in charge to stick to their guns — or, rather, scanners.