Handheld radiation detectors sound well and good, and are designed to detect the threat of dirty bombs or other radiation, which seems like a just cause, but they also appear to be picking up a good many false positives from recent subjects of radiation treatment. After being injected or implanted with radioisotopes, the patient can be "hot" for up to three months, and with 60,000 people a day undergoing such treatment or tests in the US, and 12,000 handheld radiation detectors out there to sniff these people out, it's understandable that there are more than a few people getting flagged and searched -- sometimes quite intimately -- at security checkpoints. Doctors are encouraged to warn their patients of such inconveniences, and some doctors even write notes or hand out a card that allows security personnel to confirm the treatment. There's no word on beefing up the sensors themselves, but there are usually tests available at such sites that can ascertain the type of radiation -- not a perfect system, but we don't recommend making a run for it all the same.

[Via Boing Boing]

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Radiation patients raising false dirty bomb alarms