The Transportation Security Administration is planning to perform new tests on the potential radiation exposure from scanning machines at more than 100 airports, after years of downplaying concerns, The Los Angeles Times reports.
The TSA tests seek to determine if airport security officers are being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation while working. The agency does not plan to retest the machines or passengers.
The Times reported that news of the tests leaked out after the TSA issued a request last month to government vendors to provide wearable, personal dosimeters, devices that measure exposure to radiation.
"TSA is dedicated to the health and safety of its employees," TSA 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 website."
Critics have called on the TSA to perform independent studies of the full-body scanners. "We still have no idea how much radiation is being imposed on travelers by a properly functioning machine," James Babb, co-founder of the consumer advocacy group We Won't Fly, told the Times.
Melendez said the scanners have been tested and approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the U.S. Army Public Health Command.