Some profs at UCSF have concerns about the radiation dose of backscatter scanners, specifically that all the energy is deposited in the skin instead of being spread throughout the entire body. So the dose is concentrated in time and volume. Basically, it sounds like TSA hasn’t done enough safety testing on these machines.
I would like to see a risk analysis of the probability of the screening causing cancer vs. the reduced threat of airline passengers dying from terrorism. The problem is that all these are very low probability events.
Anyway, this is my response to the entire fiasco: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRpWnK6Rg3E