Travel expert Jane E. Fraser answers your travel questions. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. Does anyone know the effects on pregnant women of the full-body scanners soon to be used at airports? Sometimes women are lucky enough to know in the first few weeks that they are pregnant, others may be quite a few weeks in before they find out.
A. The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency says full-body scanners subject travellers to “very small” amounts of X-ray or radio-frequency radiation and that it is highly unlikely even very frequent travellers would receive a significant dose of radiation.
Cancer Council Australia says the amount of radiation from one scan is the equivalent of what you would receive in two to 10 minutes of flying, or in 40 minutes of just being in the world, as there is always radiation around us. In other words, you would be exposed to considerably more radiation during your flight than you would be when going through security scanners, so you would have few grounds for refusing a scan.
The president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Dr Ted Weaver, agrees that “all the available evidence that we have scrutinised to assess this says… (click here to keep reading this article by Jane E. Fraser)