holiday flying- Pat downs or body scanner? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 11-15-2010, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hadn't really put any thought into it until today when I saw a news broadcast about the radiation in the new body scanners.  The amount is minimal but the jury is still out on the whether pregnant women should go through or not. True it's only 2 flights for my entire pregnancy.... so in theory it should be fine. 

 

If I were to refuse to go through the body scanner that means subjecting myself to an "enhanced pat down."   Again at first I thought I'd be fine with it, until I googled "Enhanced pat down video" and saw clips of what it actually entails.  A TSA agent running his or her hands (as they don't seem to take gender into consideration) up the inner thigh to the crotch area, across and between the breasts, across and over the buttocks. There may have been more but those scenes really bother me. Then I read that the rules have changed again and now TSA agents can use the front/palms of their hands to touch rather than the backs of their hands in the "private areas"

 

okay THAT is way too far for me. I barely even let DH touch my breasts....a total stranger??

 

So my choices are: expose myself and baby to a small amount of radiation or willingly subject myself to public groping???

 

For my own personal comfort and mental state I'm leaning towards the scanner but then I feel guilty. 

 

Anyone done any research on this? Thoughts? experiences?


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#2 of 16 Old 11-15-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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I won't go through the scanners.  Not now or ever.  If it ever becomes "mandatory" with no pat-down option, I will stop flying.

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#3 of 16 Old 11-15-2010, 05:36 PM
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i'm good with the pat-down. kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies but i'd rather that than the scanner while pg.


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#4 of 16 Old 11-15-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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I would go with the pat down as well.  I do not agree at all with the new pat down standards, but still would take that over the scanner.


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#5 of 16 Old 11-15-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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I don't think you need to worry about going through the scanner, even a few times over the holidays. You will be getting hundreds times more radiation during the flight. I would go through the body scanner. It literally takes 3 seconds. You get more radiation posting on MDC thumb.gif

Plus, you might not even be selected to go through the scanner. Most people still go through the regular xray machines.
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#6 of 16 Old 11-15-2010, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by rhiandmoi View Post

I don't think you need to worry about going through the scanner, even a few times over the holidays. You will be getting hundreds times more radiation during the flight. I would go through the body scanner. It literally takes 3 seconds. You get more radiation posting on MDC thumb.gif

Plus, you might not even be selected to go through the scanner. Most people still go through the regular xray machines.


I thought that the new rules state that *everyone* has to go through the body scanner. Is that not true? 


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#7 of 16 Old 11-15-2010, 08:43 PM
 
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I was pretty sure you can't opt out of going through the scanner... Maybe that isn't true if you're pregnant? I don't know. I always go through it. Pregnant or not. So I've done it (over the course of 3 pregnancies) 8 times. And it NEVER occured to me not to.


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#8 of 16 Old 11-15-2010, 09:21 PM
 
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The body scanners are only installed in certain lines. The TSA person will tell you which line to get in. Depending on how many body scanners are at that airport the chances are that you will still go through a regular metal detector. The only way you can decline any scans is to have a pat down. But then they might also open and search your carryon.
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#9 of 16 Old 11-16-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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I went through one of the new body scanners when I flew back in September, I didn't personally have a problem with it.

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#10 of 16 Old 11-16-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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i have flown out of a airport with the new scanners a handful of times now since i have been preggo,

i have always been pointed to the normal metal detector the moment they say i was preggo. 

that old style has no issues that i know of

 

fyi there is also two types of the new ones, one one of which uses the back scatter x ray, the other machine that uses milimeterwave is very differnt and said to be safeer in terms health, i do not know the details.


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#11 of 16 Old 11-16-2010, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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okay so I've done a little more research. Here's what I've learned:

- People will randomly be selected for a "special search" and will be asked to switch from the Metal Detector line to the Body Scanner line (at which point you can "Opt Out" and have the "Enhanced Pat Down")

- By the end of 2011 the plan is for 2 out of 3 passengers to go through the scanners (which will be at all or most airports)

- Your ability to hold your child during their pat down seems to be up to the TSA agents discretion

- pat downs *should* be conducted by a same gender person

- There are two types of scanners

   - The Backscatter (looks like two large blue boxes that you walk through) uses Xrays (should be a small amount equal to the radiation exposure of 4 minutes flying, and infinitely smaller than that of an actual medical xray)  Was not able to find information on how often or who calibrates the machines or how they ensure that the Xray dose is a small as stated. The images DO show your private areas in detail (as the Xray bounces off skin). So you look naked

   - The Millimeter Wave Machine (looks like a cabin or capsule type thing that you walk through). Uses radio waves. No risk there?  (still look naked)

--Though TSA says the machines can't save, store, or send the images they absolutely can. Several documented stories of images being saved and leaked (sent).

-If you elect for a Pat Down the new rules (went into effect Oct 25) state that agents can use the front of their hands (previously it was the back of hands) to feel your groin, breast and buttocks areas including the underside and in between your breasts.

- The TSA website states (in all caps) TSA will NEVER separate you from you child. They do not define what they mean by separate and there are several stories posted online about agent's taking young children (1 year old) out of eyesight of their parents to pat them down, or forcing parents to leave young children (2 and under) unattended in a stroller while parents are taken to another room/area to be patted down. Again out of eyesight. 

- Once you enter the security line you agree to be screened, you canNOT refuse. IE if you enter the metal detector line and are asked to move to the body scanner line your choice at that point becomes body scanner or pat down. You can't simply walk out of the airport and choose not to fly that day. 

- I don't understand this part but the person who is viewing the images never actually sees you in person. They are viewing the images from another room/area/location. And the people who are at the machines never see the scan images. Not really sure how that works in terms of catching the guy with the bomb (since the person who sees the bomb doesn't see the bombers face and vice versa). 

 

At this point I'm not as concerned about the naked images (though it DOES tick me off) as I am about the trauma of being patted down (to DS and myself) and the risk of the xray machines.  If we are given the option of the Millimeter Wave Machine I'll think we'll choose that (and hope that DS can cooperate so he doesn't have to undergo a pat down).

 

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#12 of 16 Old 11-16-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuestionGal View Post

- I don't understand this part but the person who is viewing the images never actually sees you in person. They are viewing the images from another room/area/location. And the people who are at the machines never see the scan images. Not really sure how that works in terms of catching the guy with the bomb (since the person who sees the bomb doesn't see the bombers face and vice versa). 


There is a little red light/green light thing on the TSA side of the scanner that tells the officer if you've been approved to pass through security or if you need to have additional screening. Also they are all in contact with each other by walky.

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#13 of 16 Old 11-16-2010, 06:25 PM
 
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Oh... is the body scanner different than a metal detector? We still only have the regular old metal detectors....


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#14 of 16 Old 11-16-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Music View Post

Oh... is the body scanner different than a metal detector? We still only have the regular old metal detectors....

Very different.

 

There's actually an entire thread on this subject in the Family Safety forum that you ladies may find edifying including a bunch of links to recent news stories.

 

Pregnant, there's no way in Hades that I'd step into a body scanner.  Not pregnant, I'd still most likely opt not to.

 

And to clarify an earlier point, they are required to do same-sex pat-downs.  So if a male agent attempts to pay you down, I'd be raising seven kinds of he!!. 

 

 

Oh, and children under 12 are supposedly exempt from both the body scanner and the enhanced pat down. 


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#15 of 16 Old 11-16-2010, 07:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Music View Post

Oh... is the body scanner different than a metal detector? We still only have the regular old metal detectors....

Very different.

 

There's actually an entire thread on this subject in the Family Safety forum that you ladies may find edifying including a bunch of links to recent news stories.

 

Pregnant, there's no way in Hades that I'd step into a body scanner.  Not pregnant, I'd still most likely opt not to.

 

And to clarify an earlier point, they are required to do same-sex pat-downs.  So if a male agent attempts to pay you down, I'd be raising seven kinds of he!!. 

 

 

Oh, and children under 12 are supposedly exempt from both the body scanner and the enhanced pat down. 

Thanks. Good to know. Doubt I'll be flying again real soon, but I will file that away for later.

 


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#16 of 16 Old 12-02-2010, 03:26 PM
 
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I flew a month ago. They selected me from the whole line to go through the full body x-ray scanner, although seeing I was pregnant. . .

 

I refused. I would never ever go tthrough the x-ray scanner pregnant, no matter what they say about the amount of the radiation - I do not trust anyone. In fact, I would not want to go through that thing even when non-pregant, why subject yourself to any radiation if it is avoidable? In addition to the fact that they see your naked picture. . .

The effects of radiation to fetus is not known, and theses scanners were not even tested on adults, let alone fetuses. Sadly, they are only being tested on all of us now.

 

So, I had a pat down. Although not so pleasant and humiliating, at least no harm to my baby.

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