Here's what we've got: 70 airports, 400 body scanners, and over 900 complaints to the ACLU in the last month from airline passengers subjected to the Transportation Security Agency's new invasive screening procedures, which force people to choose between an x-ray body scan and a pat down so, uh, thorough that it's reminiscent of sexual assault. Via Raw Story:
A former Army veteran and sexual assault victim was forced to endure a TSA pat down because of her panty-liner, according to her email to a popular women's health company.
... "[The TSA agents] were doing their job, they were as delicate as they could be, etc., etc. But what ultimately happened is that I was subjected to search so invasive that I was left crying and dealing with memories that I thought had been dealt with years ago of prior sexual assaults."
"These new scans are so horrible that if you are wearing something unusual (like a piece of cloth on your panties) then you will be subjected to a search where a woman repeatedly has to check your 'groin' while another woman watches on (two in my case - they were training in a new girl - awesome)," she added.
Meanwhile, here's what our own Dear Science says about the full body scanners, and why you should opt out...
X-rays count as ionizing radiation; they're high enough in energy to rip electrons off atoms and cause all sorts of damage. When those atoms are in your DNA, the result can be mutations. It's like the difference between being shot by a rubber bullet and a real bullet.
The manufacturers of the X-ray-based scanners claim that the dose of radiation is small, akin to the cosmic radiation one would receive on a cross-country flight or in a chest X-ray. They further claim that these machines deliver only a small, short burst of wimpy X-rays that are able to enter only the layers of the skin—and no further. These arguments are both unproven and unconvincing at this time.