• Body scanners at airport security: what you need to know

    2010-10-21

    Those who will be traveling to see family during the holiday season may benefit from knowing about new airport security measures, such as the body scanner technology that is being adopted at many U.S. airports.

    Many people have heard of the body scanners, and some have already experienced this technology for themselves. The body scanners, originally called Advanced Imaging Technology machines, generate detailed images of the human body and are capable of detecting nonmetallic explosives and weapons hidden underneath a passenger's clothes, the Associated Press reports.

    There are two kinds of body scanners, the news source reports. One type uses radio wave technology, while the other uses X-ray technology. The Transportation Security Administration states that both technologies are very safe. Those unwilling to go through a scanner will be given the alternative of a thorough pat-down, which is likely to take longer than the body scan, according to the news provider.

    The number of such body scanners in U.S. airports is currently approximately 300 and growing, as the TSA hopes to have 450 installed by the end of the year. However, they are currently installed in only 61 U.S. airports, and are not in use at every checkpoint.

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