Radiation Risk Of Airport Full Body Scanners

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Body scanners have revolutionized the practice of medicine since they were first introduced into routine clinical practice in 1974. Companies are coming out with faster scanners that take more comprehensive pictures. A millimeter wave scanner is a whole body imaging device used for airport security screening. It is one of two common technology used for body imaging; the other is the backscatter X-ray. In comparison to x-rays from medical applications, the backscattered x-rays are considered high energy. A "high energy x-ray beam" moves rapidly over the person's form and a high resolution image of the person's nude body. Here is the question, Are They Safe? There are no known “safe” doses of radiation in terms of radiation-induced cancer risk.

CT (computed tomography) scanners is a rotating x-ray device to create hundreds of individual images reconstructed into a three dimensional view of the body by computers. Many readers have heard of these scans. MRI technology also produces fast scans. MRI scanners also provide sharper, clearer images of the body. They help physicians detect cancerous tumors, debilitating diseases and other ailments at earlier stages of development. You may have heard the term ‘3T,’ the “T” in “3T” refers to “tesla” a unit used to measure the magnetic strength of the MRI scanners. Current CT scanners are able to image the entire human body within seconds, and provide high definition images with an incredibly detailed view of organs and tissues. Scanner use low doses of radiation, but many older machines rely on higher doses. Scanners are for particular procedures they are not standardized, and a wide variance in doses can be delivered to the subjects. Security scanners use millimeter waves, these are the scanners used in Airports. As these complex and powerful diagnostic imaging machines continued to grow, so will the potential risk of radiation-induced cancers from radiation exposure administered during body scans at Airport Security.

A number of private radiology imaging centers offer “body scans” for clinically healthy people who are interested in having their internal organs examined for any early signs of diseases. Physicians have become so dependent on these machines that they request a scan for many visits. The same theory has turned to airport security; a full body scan will be requested before boarding a plane, screening the healthy with low dosages of radiation. Medical implants such as cardiac and neural stimulation leads could be affected by the electrical field produced by a pulse generator and significantly alter (either increase or decrease) the waveform of a pacemakers pulse.

Airport Full Body Scanners work by Millimeter wave technology. This band has a wavelength of ten to one millimetre, giving it the name millimeter band or millimetre wave. These waves are considered Extremely High Frequency, the highest radio frequency band. EHF runs the range of frequencies from 30 to 300 gigahertz, they are also sometimes abbreviated MMW or mmW. These bands are also known as terahertz radiation. Terahertz radiation may interfere directly with DNA. The force generated is small but the waves disturb double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand. These scanners provide exceptionally clear views of subjects by combining data from multiple X-ray images, but the increased exposure to X-rays, which cause mutations in DNA that, can lead to cancer. X-rays are considered ionizing (penetrating) radiation, ionizing radiation in any dose causes genetic mutations, which set all living cells exposed on the path to cancer. Cancers associated with high dose exposure include leukemia, breast, bladder, colon, liver, lung, esophagus, ovarian, multiple myeloma, prostate, nasal cavity/sinuses, pharyngeal, laryngeal, pancreatic and stomach cancers. Clothing and organic materials are translucent in most mm-wave bands. Perfect for detecting objects on subjects at airports. The scanner does allow the screener to see detailed images of body parts, as I explained with CT and MRI scanners.

Whole body scans of healthy people may be creating more problems than they solve by exposing healthy people to radiation. The risk for radiation over exposure may be small for single subject, but the number subject exposed to airport body scans will increase they risk by the millions. A normal CT scan of the chest is the equivalent of about 100 chest X-rays. Some scanners are equivalent of 440 conventional X-rays. The traditional X-ray machine detects hard and soft materials by the variation in transmission through the target. The backscatter X-ray detects the radiation that reflects back from the target. Several studies have suggested that people have been unnecessarily exposed to radiation from CTs or have received excessive amounts of radiation. A person undergoing a backscatter scan receives approximately 0.005 – 0.009 millirems of radiation. 1 mrem per year is a negligible dose of radiation, and 25 mrem per year from a single source is the upper limit of safe radiation exposure. Widespread overuse of body scanners and variations in radiation caused by different machines could subject many to radiation doses that could ultimately lead to thousands of new cancer cases and deaths.

It’s Gonna Be BEDLAM!

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Medication Mistakes That Can Kill

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Confusing two medications with similar names: Confusion caused by similar drug names accounts for up to 25 percent of all reported errors. The doctor's handwriting is illegible, or the name goes into the pharmacy computer incorrectly, or the swap occurs when the wrong drug is pulled from the shelves. Most pharmacies shelve drugs in alphabetical order, so you have drugs with similar names right next to each other. It’s easy to grab the wrong medication. Solution: When you get a new prescription, ask your doctor to write down what it's for as well as the name and dosage. When you're picking up a prescription at the pharmacy, check the label to make sure the name of the drug (brand or generic), dosage, and directions for use are the same as those on the prescription.

Taking two or more drugs that magnify each other's potential side effects: Drugs can interfere with each other, they can magnify each other, or one drug can magnify a side effect caused by another drug. Any drug you take has potential side effects. But the problems ca
n really add up whenever you take two or more medications at the same time. The most common and most dangerous of these magnification interactions involve blood pressure and dizziness. If you're taking one medication that has a potential side effect of raising blood pressure, and you then begin taking a second medication with the same possible effect, your blood pressure could spike dangerously from the combination of the two. The same applies with medication with dizziness side effects. Be careful if you've been prescribed the blood-thinner Coumadin (warfarin). Too much or too little Coumadin could lead to serious heart problems such as arrhythmias or a stroke. Solution: Ask your doctor or a pharmacist about potential side effects when you get a new prescription, and make sure the pharmacy gives you written printouts about the medication to review later.

Overdosing by combining more t
han one medication with similar properties: You might have one medication prescribed to treat pain, another prescribed for anxiety, and another that's given as a sleeping pill, they're all sedatives, and the combined effect is toxic. The risk for this kind of overdose is highest with drugs that function by depressing the central nervous system. These include narcotic painkillers such as codeine; benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Halcion, Xanax, and Valium; barbiturate tranquilizers such as Seconal; some of the newer drugs such as BuSpar, for anxiety; and the popular sleeping pill Ambien. Oversedation can also happen with innocent over-the-counter drugs like antihistamines (diphenhydramine, commonly known as Benadryl, cough and cold medicines, and OTC sleeping pills. This type of drug mixing is responsible for many medication-induced deaths, especially among younger adults. Solution: Pay attention to the warnings on the packaging of over-the-counter medications, and the risks listed in the documentation for prescriptions. Key words are sleepy, drowsy, dizzy, sedation, and their equivalents. If more than one of your prescriptions or OTC drugs warns against taking it while driving, or warns that it can make you drowsy, beware.

Getting the Dosage wrong: Drugs are prescribed in a variety of units of measure, units that are usually notated using abbreviations or symbols. A misplaced decimal point and 1.0 mg becomes 10 mg, a tenfold dosing error that could cause a fatal overdose. Some of the most extreme dosage mistakes occur when someone mistakes a dose in milligrams with one in micrograms, resulting in a dose 1,000 times higher. Insulin causes some of the worst medication errors because it's measured in units, abbreviated with a U, which can look like a zero or a 4. Another common problem is getting the frequency wrong, a drug that is supposed to be given once a day is given four times a day. Solution: Make sure your doctor's writing is clear on the original prescription, if you can't read the dosage indicated, chances are the nurse and pharmacist cannot as well. Ask the pharmacist to check the dosage to make sure it's within the range that's typical for that medication. In the hospital, question your nurse about a new medications, and dosages. Don't be afraid to speak up if you think you're about to get the wrong medicine or the wrong dose.

Mixing alcohol with medications: There
are plenty of drugs that come with that bright orange warning sticker attached, telling you not to drink when taking them. The sticker can fall off, or not get attached in the first place, or you might just really need a drink. Alcohol, combined with a long list of painkillers, sedatives, and other medications, becomes a deadly poison in these situations. Alcohol can also have a dangerous interaction with OTC drugs such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and cough and cold medicines. If the cough or cold medicines themselves contain alcohol, you can end up with alcohol poisoning. Mix alcohol and certain antidepressants and you have the potential for a dangerous rise in blood pressure, alcohol and certain sedatives such as Ativan or Valium can depress the heart rate enough to put you in a coma. Solution: When you get a new prescription, ask your doctor or a pharmacist if the medication is safe to take while drinking alcohol. If you're a heavy drinker and you know it's likely you'll drink while taking the medication, tell your doctor. She may need to prescribe something else instead. Read the labels of all OTC medications carefully, both to see if alcohol is mentioned as a risk and also to see if alcohol is an ingredient in the medication itself.

Double-dosing by taking a brand-name drug and the generic version at the same time: It’s common for you to get confused and end up with bottles of a brand-name drug and a generic version at the same time without realizing it. A common diuretic is furosemide. The brand name is Lasix. A patient might have a bottle of furosemide and a bottle of Lasix and not know they're the same thing. Generic drugs don't list the equivalent brand name on the label, you might not spot this unless your brand-name version lists the generic name in the fine print. Solution: When your doctor prescribes a new medication, make sure you have a chance to go over all the details you might need to know later. Have the doctor write down the name of the drug (brand and generic, if available), what it's for, its dosage, and how often and when to take it.

Taking prescription drugs and over-the-counter or alternative medications without knowing how they interact: Don’t think that medican from your local grocery or drug store are safe. Some of the most common OTC drugs can cause serious reactions. The new and very popular version of Maalox Total Relief, contains an ingredient called bismuth subsalicylate that can react dangerously with anticlotting drugs, drugs for hypoglycemia, and anti-inflammatories, particularly ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDs. Aspirin, thins the blood. The herb Saint-John's-wort, which many people take for depression, can interfere with prescription antidepressants and it also interferes with the liver's processing of blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) and heart medications such as Digoxin. Solution: Let your doctor know about any OTC meds or supplements you take when they write your prescription.


Not understanding interactions between medications and your diet: Grapefruit juice inhibits a crucial enzyme that normally functions to break down and metabolize many drugs, such as antiseizure drugs and statins used to lower cholesterol. The liver can't metabolize the medication, resulting in an overdose, with potentially fatal consequences. Coffee inhibits absorption. Coffee drinkers who take their iron in the morning may not see any results because the iron wasn’t absorbed. Solution: When you get a new prescription, ask your doctor or a pharmacist whether you should take it with food, without food, and if there are any particular dietary issues to watch out for.


Failing to adjust medication dosages when a patient loses kidney or liver function: Loss of liver or kidney function impairs your body's ability to rid itself of toxins, or foreign substances, so medications can build up in the body at higher dosages than intended. Decreasing medication dosages when patients begin to suffer impaired kidney or liver function is a common mistake doctors make. Doctors shouldn't prescribe any medications without first ordering liver and kidney function tests. Solution: With new prescriptions, read the fine print to see if liver or kidney function is mentioned. If so, ask your doctor if you've had recent liver and kidney function screenings.

Taking a medication that's not safe for your age: As we age, our bodies process medications differently. Aging brings an increased risk of many problems such as dementia, dizziness, falling, and high blood pressure, so drugs that can cause these side effects are much riskier for people over the age of 65. The "Beers List," is a great resource if you or someone you're caring for is over 65. Solution: Take the Beers List to your doctor and check it against all medications prescribed. If you discover that you or a family member over 65 is taking medications that are considered risky, you may need to be proactive and ask the doctor to find alternatives.

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Would You Do It?

Everybody is talking about Tiger Woods and the 'claimed' affairs he's facing. Forget all that, "he shouldn't have, she is a @#$%@#." MEN look at these women and be honest, Married or not, Would you Double EAGLE these babes if they came onto you? BLACK MEN---->DON'T LIE

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