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TSA to test workers over scanner concerns

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The Transportation Security Administration says it will examine agents at at least 100 U.S. airports for possible exposure to radiation from scanners.

"TSA is dedicated to the health and safety of its employees," spokesman Nico Melendez said. "We continuously test our technology to ensure it is safe for both passengers and our officers and post all results to our Web site."

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The TSA says the plan doesn't include testing the machines or passengers for radiation. Officials said airport security officers who work with the scanners will be tested to see whether they're being exposed to unacceptable levels of radiation, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

Critics of the TSA say they support security officer testing but they're urging the agency to conduct independent testing of the full-body scanners for the sake of passenger safety.

"We still have no idea how much radiation is being imposed on travelers by a properly functioning machine," said James Babb, co-founder of We Won't Fly, a consumer advocacy group. "A malfunctioning machine could be particularly nasty."

Melendez said scanners have been tested and approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the U.S. Army Public Health Command, the Times reported.

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