Last week we were at the airport to travel to Marco Island for the CWD Family Weekend. And we were NOT traveling light, by any stretch. Chris and I had our suitcases, our laptops, and my diabetes supplies (infusion sets, insulin, test strips, glucose tabs, etc.) stashed in a carry on. Oh, and we also had that giggly baby BSparl, plenty of clothes for her to spit up on, formula, bottles, wipes, diapers, water for mixing the formula, toys, Happy Baby puffs for snacks, her car seat, the car seat base, and the stroller. (Phew.)
In addition to all the junk we were carrying, I was also wearing my Animas Ping and my Dexcom sensor (and carrying the receiver) — which made me a prime candidate for the airport opt-out search from a TSA employee, thanks to the fact that these devices are better off not going through X-ray machines, etc.
I know some people have had some very troubling experiences with the full patdowns, but I’m thankful that I didn’t have any issues whatsoever. Both times (leaving Rhode Island and then leaving Florida), I was pulled aside for the pat down. Chris and the baby went through security and waited while the (female) TSA employee gave me a good how-do-you-do. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*
Potential health effects of airport security are being questioned for their possible health consequences, from spreading germs to radiation exposure to the stress that being searched induces.
With cheaper flights available this year and the need for security in air travel, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is justifying its full body scans and its pat-downs that rise up travelers’ legs — all the way up.
The scanners use microwaves, leading some to question whether people may be receiving too much radiation. It’s also a concern to activists who may have already undergone a lot of radiation for existing condition, or who have other conditions for which TSA agents may not be trained. (Read one seasoned traveler’s personal experience here.) The TSA reports the scanners expose users less energy than a cell phone.
Some protesters refused the body scans in favor of a pat-down, in an effort to tie up air travel on the day before Thanksgiving and force a review on the issue. But a manual exam spreads germs, say others.
Amid all the speculation of potential health consequences, federal officials are reminding travelers that the security measures are there for passenger safety. However, retorts Jason Mustian‘s Twitter feed, “Body scans and genital fondlings would save more lives if our government was paying to have them done in hospitals rather than airports.”
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*