Drugs scanner can find bomb hidden in body
Scanners used to catch drug smugglers are also able to detect explosives surgically implanted or inserted in body cavities by terrorists, says the head of equipment manufacturer Smiths Detection.
Speaking at an investor event, Mal Maginnis said the apparently growing threat from such tactics could be thwarted by a low-dosage x-ray system used to identify smugglers who have swallowed narcotics-packed condoms.
Maginnis said the Smiths B-SCAN is also used by prisons to keep out contraband and threat items that might be inside the body rather than merely hidden under clothes.
It is certified as meeting international guidelines for radiation safety, he said.
“The technology is there and it is entirely up to the authorities to decide how it is deployed in the future,” Maginnis added.
There was no one, single solution, he continued, but x-ray scans would fit into the layered, risk-based approach already widely adopted for aviation security
B-SCAN is a transmission x-ray screening system that delivers a radiation dose of under 0.1μSv/scan - less than backscatter systems.
Smiths says more than 140 of the systems are in use around the world, mainly at customs, prisons, court-rooms, mines and refineries.
See E&T's story Airport x-ray scanners given clean bill of health
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