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Are the Body Scans at the airport safe if I'm pregnant?
I plan on visiting family next month in another state. I recently found out that I'm about 7 weeks along. I have to fly but I'm afraid of going through the body scan at the airport security. I heard it gives off a low does of radiation!! Is it safe to go through or should I get a pat down instead. Please keep in mind I also have a 23 month old little girl who will be traveling with me as well. HELP!!
If you want to get really technical, it should be safe. Ultrasounds also give off radiation, and we all have them when pregnant! In reality, avoiding unneccesary radiation is always a good idea, so I would opt for the pat down.
Not all radiation is the same. There are two types of full-body scanners in service. They either use backscattered X-rays or radio waves. Though the dose is low, you should definately not go through an X-ray scanner, particularly in the first timester. In fact, the TSA is instructed not to use this type of scanner on pregnant women or children. Full-body scanners based on radio waves should be safe. So my answer for you would be, if you are selected to extra screening, is to inform the TSA agent of your condition and take the pat down option. That is what I plan to do. I don't particularly trust the agent to know which kind of light wave their scanner is using.