Legislation proposed by Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt (R-AL) on Thursday cuts off new funding for body imaging scanners used by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at airport security checkpoints.
The Fiscal Year 2012 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill does not provide the $76 million requested by President Barack Obama for 275 additional body scanners nor the 535 staff requested to operate them, but would not affect the nearly 500 scanners already in use.
The body scanners, which use X-ray technology to create a graphic image of travelers’ bodies, sparked privacy and health concerns.
The TSA has held that there are no harmful radiation emissions from the body scanners used at security checkpoints at more than 450 airports across the nation. The agency has begun testing new airport scanner software that produces less revealing images of travelers.
Aderholt told The Associated Press that the decision to cut off new funding for the scanners was motivated by budgetary factors rather than privacy concerns.