Late last year, I wrote about four faculty from UC San Francisco who expressed "serious concerns about the potential health risks of the recently adopted whole body backscatter X-ray airport security scanners." Here's a different perspective from Rebecca Smith-Bindman, MD, on the scanners (she was not among the four faculty who earlier expressed concern):
When put into the context of these exposures we all receive every day, the additional exposure from the backscatter x-ray scanners is trivial. It is the same as a few minutes of radiation we get as part of daily living, and it is the same as one additional minute of airplane time. Thus if someone takes a cross country flight from California to New York, the radiation dose from these scans is less than 1 percent of the radiation than is received on the flight.
Smith-Bindman is a radiology professor at UCSF.