This holiday season, avoid unnecessary radiation exposure when travelling by air. After the 9/11 incident, Transport Security of America tightened security requirements for air-travellers to inclde x-ray screening while checking in. However, you can avoid this measure if you are a military personnal, pregnant, elderly, or under 13 years old.

If you are none of the above, you can still avoid undue exposure to x-rays by volunteering for a “pat down”. Here’s a step-by step guide on how to “opt-out.”

  1. After you have put your luggage, electronics, and shoes etc on the conveyor belt, tell the TSA staff that you 1 wish to “opt out”.
  2. They will call another person on duty who’s trained to perform a manual screening procedure called “pat down”. There will be a male staff for screening men and female staff for women passenger.
  3. Until this staff member arrives, you will be asked to step aside and wait until called.
  4. When the designated staff appears, you will be taken past the entryway and asked about your belongings (aka property)
  5. The staff will explain the pat down procedure and ask if you would like a private screening (our advice is to continue the screening in public).
  6. The staff person will proceed with the pat down explaining when he or she is about to examine sensitive areas.
  7. They will then ask you to not touch anything until they have finished their test. Stand by and wait for them to give you a go ahead.
  8. Once done, take your belongings, put your shoes back on, and you’re good to go!

Although the entire procedure may seem like a hassle and, in all honesty it is, there is a certain health benefit in avoiding harmful x-radiation. And even though according to TSA, the amount of x-rays used for screening is too low to do any harm, these claims are inconclusive at best. Even if there’s no significant damage to the DNA in one exposure, a screening will most likely interfere with your natural energetic flow. Therefore, it’s wise to refrain from this procedure altogether.

Note that it can take about 10-15 minutes for the entire procedure. So, plan ahead and come early so you don’t miss your flight due to delays during the check-in.


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