Britons against airport scanner ban, despite cancer warnings

21st Nov 2011
Britons against airport scanner ban, despite cancer warnings

In light of the recent news that the EU has chosen to enforce a ban on airport ‘strip-search’ scanners, one of the UK’s leading online independent travel agents has carried out a flash poll which found the majority of Britons are against the idea; despite warnings that the scanners may hold cancer risks.

Whilst first causing controversy over the privacy of the devices, airport ‘strip-search’ scanners are now under scrutiny once again and have been temporarily banned by the EU whilst the machines are assessed for the health risks they may pose. A poll has revealed, however, that the majority of Britons are against this idea.

www.sunshine.co.uk carried out a flash poll of 967 Britons and asked each respondent questions about their opinions of the airport scanners that are used for security reasons, since various attempted terror attacks.

Manchester airport is the only UK airport that currently still uses the machines, holding 16 machines on site, after they were removed from Heathrow following privacy complaints. The EU has placed a ban on the devices following concerns that they could cause cancer, but Manchester airport will be allowed to use the machines for the next year.

In the poll by sunshine.co.uk, respondents were asked ‘Do you think airport ‘strip-search’ scanners should be banned, in light of the cancer risks they could pose?’ and the majority, 67%, said ‘no’. They were then asked to explain their reason for this decision, to which 54% said they would rather ‘risk their health and travel safe’, whilst a fifth, 22%, said they didn’t believe the health risks.

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Furthermore, 46% of the respondents polled said they would like to see the security body scanners installed in all major UK airports. Of these, 38% said they did have concerns about their own privacy when it came to the scanners, but they’d rather everyone had to be checked.

Chris Brown, co-founder of sunshine.co.uk, spoke about the poll;

“We really wanted to gauge the general public’s reaction to the EU’s airport ‘strip-search’ scanner ban, to find out if it was really what they would want. Is was interesting to see that many didn’t even believe the claims that the devices could potentially cause cancer.

“Some might see this as scaremongering, but obviously it makes sense to check the machines to rule out any health risks. If the assessment shows they don’t pose a risk to people’s health, I don’t think it will be long before we see them in more and more airports. People evidently care a lot more about their own security than their health, or so it would seem.”

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