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Though the scanner images do not reveal what’s beneath the skin’s surface, the radiation they emit could potentially affect breast tissue, sex organs and eyes, said David Agard, an imaging expert at the University of California at San Francisco.

The response “is just a regurgitation of what the industry people have been saying,” said John Sedat, a UCSF professor emeritus in biochemistry and biophysics.

He faulted the government for not doing safety testing in animals to see if the scanners caused any worrisome biochemical changes. Kassiday said the university scientists have not justified why that kind of testing on such low-dose devices would be necessary.

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Online:

TSA: http://www.tsa.gov

National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements: http://www.ncrponline.org

Health Physics Society: http://www.hps.org