Random Radiation Is Not Cool
Are scanners being employed at roadway checkpoints to “radiate Americans” with dangerous X-rays designed to peer inside their vehicles? Yes, according to Alex Jones conspiratorial website Prison Planet, and this time, the mainstream media agrees, at least in part…

In his most recent Google Trends coup, Alex Jones encouraged users to repeatedly search the phrase “feds radiating Americans,” to draw attention to Prison Planet reporter Paul Joseph Watson’s new article. In it, the author claims that instead of dedicating their efforts to control illegal immigration and drug trafficking, federal authorities are “more worried about radiating American truck drivers.”

According to the Prison Planet article:

The federal government has acquired hundreds of backscatter X-ray scanners mounted in vans that they are now using to randomly scan vehicles, passengers and homes in complete violation of the 4th amendment and with wanton disregard for any health consequences.
Indeed, the Fourth Amendment establishes security “against unreasonable searches and seizures,” but how many scanners are out there on the roads in the first place? Just a few weeks prior, Forbes reported on the same phenomenon in-depth, without the overt, anti-immigrant stance and political bias. As senior reporter Andy Greenberg wrote:
American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Mass., has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter X-ray scanners mounted in vans that can be driven past neighboring vehicles or cargo containers to snoop into their contents…

The DHS didn’t respond to requests for comment on exactly which of its agencies use the ZBVs [Z Backscatter Vans]. The New York Police Department confirmed that it uses the technology but wouldn’t divulge specifics.

Interestingly, most opponents of the scanners, such as the Electronic Privacy Information Center, are less concerned with the potential health consequences and more quick to accuse agencies of using them to perform unconstitutional, invasive and warrantless searches.

But what about the claim that the X-ray scanners are a health risk?

That’s actually gaining steam too, at least so far as full-body airport security scanners (which use similar technology) are concerned. Scientists from various universities, and even some within the halls of the government itself, coming forward with serious concerns about the level of radiation exposure to particularly sensitive members of the population, such as pregnant women.

So far, the Transportation Security Administration and the Food and Drug Administration maintain that the levels of radiation emitted by these scanners are safe, but because the ZBVs are fewer in number and less-well-known to the public, they’ve received less scrutiny.