Here are your personal belongings, a free MetroCard . . . and your total accumulated radiation count. Enjoy your freedom.
The city Health Department has issued new regulations that would allow inmates to learn how much radiation they’ve absorbed from body scans in the clink.
Upon request, the Correction Department would have to provide them with their “total accumulated radiation exposure,” according to a legal notice issued by the city Thursday.
The regulation was in response to a new state law authorizing correction officers to again use high-powered body scanners to spot nonmetal objects — such as ceramic knives — in the possession of inmates.
As part of the law, the Health Department had to implement rules to make sure the scanners are safe — including “setting annual exposure limits and mandates for training and signage.”
Some inmates have been arming themselves with titanium blades and other weapons that can’t be detected by regular metal detectors and are difficult to uncover during a frisk.
The Correction Department thought it had the problem solved in 2012 and 2013, after it purchased five “airport-style” body scanners with ionizing radiation that picked up every imaginable kind of weapon and contraband.
But after a year’s use, the scanners were shelved when it was discovered they violated a little-noticed state law that said “ionizing radiation” may not be “applied to human beings” except by licensed medical personnel for a medical purpose.
With a hobbled detection system, jailhouse stabbings and slashings more than doubled, from an average of 5.3 a month to an average of 11.3 as of April 2017.
The new state law wipes out the scanner-use medical restriction.
According to the city, most inmates will be scanned less than once a month — and it would take about 400 scans to absorb the same radiation produced by a single chest X-ray.
And while there’s always a risk when it comes to radiation, an expert told The Post it’s negligible.
“Risk is proportional to dose,” said Dr. Norman Kleiman, an expert in radiological sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
“Bottom line: At these dose rates we’re talking about, [cancer] risk in less than 1 in 100 million. The beer you’re having, the cigarette, the vape is probably much riskier.”
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