Airport scanners can feel invasive – after all, it’s almost like they’re looking inside you to make sure you’re not hiding anything. But can airport body scanners really see inside you? No. They can’t see inside you per se, but they can penetrate your clothing to show if there are any potential threats on your body. Here’s all you need to know about airport scanners.
- Airport body scanners are designed to detect potential threats on a person’s body and cannot see inside their body or organs.
- The most recent models of airport body scanners have such low levels of radiation that they are completely safe.
- If you prefer not to go through the body scanner, you can request a physical search or sign up for TSA Precheck to bypass some of the security measures.
- Jewelry and other metallic items can trigger false alarms on the scanner, so it’s important to remove them before going through.
- While airport body scanners may feel invasive, it’s important to remember that they are only standardized threat protection measures and are in place to keep travelers safe.
What Do Airport Scanners See?
Airport scanners are designed to see threats, so the x-rays will bounce off metallic and nonmetallic items that could pose a threat. This could include knives, explosives, and other hazardous items.
The scanner isn’t infallible, so it does falsely alert sometimes, especially if you have jewelry and other metallic items on your body. That’s why you’re asked to take off your personal items, including jewelry, watches, belts, and more. You may need to be patted down or further searched if you continue to trigger the scanner, and that includes your person or your carry-on or personal items.
Airport scanners do not see inside your body, so no one is going to be looking at your organs or if you’re wearing any personal care items. Contrary to the urban legends, the scanners cannot see if you’re wearing a tampon or on your period. The contrast of these images is not that high, so it’s not as invasive as you may think.
Still, they are effective at detecting potential threats, which is exactly what they are designed to do. The technology has improved over time, and these scanners have been in place for decades, keeping air travellers safe as they travel through airports and in the friendly skies.
Can You Refuse To Use The Body Scanner?
While the levels of radiation are small, you can refuse to go through the body scanner. If this is the case, then you will have to submit to another type of search. This could be a physical one from an airport security agent or a wand, if that is preferable.
If you do not want to be scanned, simply notify the agent. and they will handle your search separately. Be polite and state your reasons for not wanting to submit to the scanner. The nicer you can be, the more smoothly the process will go.
If you prefer to leave your shoes on and your items in your bag, consider signing up for TSA Precheck or other security programs. You go through security authorization to qualify, so you do not need to undergo as rigorous checks as those who aren’t as frequently travelled do. You cannot bypass the security entirely, but it is a nice starting point, especially if you don’t like to mess with the airport body scanners.
Are Airport Body Scanners Safe?
Yes, airport body scanners are completely safe. The most recent models have such low levels of radiation that it’s almost undetectable. While scanners can see through your clothes, they cannot see you. You should not have any more increased risk of exposure because you were required to go through an airport body scanner, but you can always be safe and ask for a physical search.
So, What Can Airport Body Scanners See?
Airport body scanners can penetrate your clothing, but they can’t see inside your body. Instead, they are made to see if you are concealing something on your body and nothing else. You don’t have to worry about someone seeing inside you. They also can’t see your body in a compromising position. That’s not how airport body scanners work.
Airport body scanners are no more than standardized threat protection, so just pass on throught without making a scene, and you’ll be golden.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can airport body scanners see?
Airport body scanners are designed to detect potential threats to a person’s body and cannot see inside their body or organs.
Are airport body scanners safe?
Yes, the most recent airport body scanner models have such low radiation levels that they are completely safe.
Can you refuse to use the body scanner?
Yes, you can refuse to use the body scanner, but you must submit to another search type.
What happens if you trigger the body scanner?
If you trigger the body scanner, you may need to be patted down or further searched, including your person, carry-on, or personal items.
Can airport body scanners see if you’re wearing a tampon or on your period?
No, airport body scanners cannot see if you’re wearing a tampon or on your period. The contrast of these images is not that high, so it’s not as invasive as you may think.
What should you do if you prefer not to go through the body scanner?
If you prefer not to go through the body scanner, you can request a physical search or sign up for TSA Precheck to bypass some of the security measures.
What items should you remove before going through the body scanner?
Before going through the body scanner, you should remove jewelry, watches, belts, and other metallic items, as they can trigger false alarms.
Why are airport body scanners used?
Airport body scanners are used as standardized threat protection measures to keep travelers safe as they travel through airports and in friendly skies.