A DOCTOR who refused to go through the ‘naked’ body scanners at Manchester airport was banned from boarding his flight.
Tony Aguirre – a consultant eye specialist at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary – declined to go through the full-body scanner on both medical and ethical grounds.
But instead of being offered a ‘pat down’ search as an alternative, the father-of-two was escorted out of the airport by police and not allowed to board his flight to Zurich.
It is now mandatory for passengers to go through the full body scanners before boarding their flights at Manchester, Gatwick and Heathrow airports – staff there have been told that anyone who refuses should be grounded.
The X-ray device scans through a person’s clothes creating an image of a person’s naked body in order to look for hidden objects potentially hidden on their person.
Mr Aguirre told the Examiner he felt as if he was treated like a criminal just because he was not prepared to accept a “radiation assault” that is potentially dangerous to his health and undignified because it exposes his nude body.
The Fartown man said: “X-rays are known to cause cancer and I think somebody will get cancer from this body scanner whether it’s me or someone else.
“It is well known that X-rays can cause cancer. It can cause mutations in the genes in the spermatogenetic cells, as in most other cells.”
Recent studies have suggested that the ‘backscatter X-rays’ used at Manchester airport could produce 20 times as much radiation than first thought.
Mr Aguirre said: “The Government maintain it is just a ‘low dose’ of radiation but even if it is a ‘low dose’ – and not 20 times higher than first calculated – I don’t want it because it is unnecessary.