Friday, December 1, 2023

Is Airport Scanner Dangerous to Pregnancy?

It can’t be avoided to have some worries that these airport scanners are like x-ray machines found in the hospital that is a bit dangerous when you are exposed to it because of radiation. For pregnant women who travel a lot, one of their worries is the danger that they get from frequent exposure to radiation. Will this radiation from the airport scanner will have a negative effect on the fetus? In this article; we’ll further explain the real score behind these airport scanners and how does it work?

Do you have to go through the scanning process?

Although airport scanners are proven safe; if you are not comfortable going through the process, you have the right to decline it especially if you are pregnant. You may request a physical screening and a female agent will further check you also known as pat-down. A lot of pregnant women are hesitant to undergo the scanning process because of the lack of information that these airports releases regarding the scanners that they have.

Like other passengers; pregnant women need to undergo the process. Pregnancy is not an excuse to skip the security measure done in the airport even though they are not comfortable with it. There are some alternative safety measures that airport personnel is trained for that will still accommodate pregnant women.

How does airport scanner work?

These machines scan through your clothes and body; unlike x-ray machines found on medical laboratories that emit radiation; it uses non-ionizing electromagnetic waves that do not generate harmful waves. These scanners operate through the use of a low-intensity magnetic field. These magnetic fields are non-ionizing radiation that does not generate damaging emissions such as radiation.

Types of airport scanner

  • Metal detector

This is the old-fashioned type of airport scanner that makes use of magnetic fields that are non-ionizing that is why even though it emits radiation; it is still safe for humans specifically for pregnant women. They emit the same radiation as what we have in our computers; cellphones and other electronic devices at home that have a less electromagnetic field.

  • Millimeter-wave body scanner

This is the type of scanner that will just bounce off of your skin. It won’t penetrate inside the skin and will just create an outline out of your body. There is research conducted by the Transportation Security Administration that the radiation found on this scanner is about more than 5,000 times less than your mobile gadget.

  • Backscatter scanner

It uses low penetration and low-intensity electromagnetic wave that only emits minimum exposure to rays. That causes no harm to both the mother and the fetus. This scanner only scans the clothes and it will not penetrate the skin.

Is this safe for pregnancy?

It has been proven a couple of times through different researches that the use of airport scanners are safe for both the mother and the fetus. It is confirmed that the radiation level found on these scanners is only about one-tenth of the total radiation that humans are exposed to each day. Before these scanners have been used by the public; it has undergone safety tests to ensure that it will not cause any harm to anybody.

Even if you are a frequent traveler; it won’t do anything harmful to your pregnancy even if at multiple exposures to these kinds of scanners; even the residue of radiation; it will just bounce back. There are no reported instances where the radiation from the airport scanner pose harm. There are researching buddies that were tasked to do thorough research about airport scanners; the results were made and it was proved that airport scanners are totally safe to pregnancy.

Do you have to consult a doctor before using the airport scanner?

You don’t have to consult the doctor if you are to be exposed to an airport scanner but the thing that you need to inform your doctor if they’ll allow you to travel during pregnancy. There are some instances when traveling might be dangerous especially if you are having some problems during pregnancy such as stress and other disease or sickness. Doctors know very well if a certain thing is dangerous to pregnancy or not; especially when it comes to the things that you are frequently exposed to during pregnancy.

How nonionizing radiation works?

The nonionizing radiation is a type of radiation that is commonly used in different things such as different gadgets or electric appliances that are commonly utilized that makes uses the lowest radiofrequency wave range through electrical wires. Industrially speaking, nonionizing radiation is commonly used in airport scanners. It can’t be avoided that the overexposure to nonionizing radiation can cause bodily problems such as skin burn and painful eyes since the skin and the eyes are the ones that absorb the heat that this radiation releases but it is rarely experienced.

When it comes to airport scanners; the Transportation Security Administration made sure that the non-ionizing radiation that comes from it will not cause even a little harm. These scanners are also equipped with barriers that will block the potentially harmful radiation. Airport scanners make use of an extremely low frequency (ELF) waves

Why is it perceived that airport scanners are dangerous?

Even though there is already information about the safety of airport scanners, some pregnant women don’t want to take the risk. However, these kinds of radiation can’t be avoided; the radiation of the airport’s scanner is just like the radiation that can be seen in different gadgets, electronics, and devices used on a daily basis. There is already information that explains the reason why airport scanners are safe to the overall health of a pregnant woman but the reason why there are still people hesitant to believe is because there are also contradicting theories that state that the type of radiation used in airport scanners can cause skin cancer and that it will disrupt the development of the fetus that may lead to abortion and other fetus abnormalities.

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