London: There`s some good news for flyers reluctant of facing full-body scanners at airports -- they may soon use an X-ray proof underwear that can fully protect their
Developed by Steve Bradshaw, a screenprinter in Poynton in Britain, the special underwear and vests are covered with a special paint made from a mixture of metals and glass.
Bradshaw, 54, claims the coating masks body parts but still allows operators to see dangerous objects such as guns, knives and explosives.
He was inspired after being questioned by armed police and missing a flight when he refused to enter a `naked scanner` at Manchester Airport earlier this year, the Daily
Bradshaw said: "The machines operate at different wavelengths and the pants contain materials which react to radiation at different wavelengths,"
"The paint contains barium sulphate, aluminium, ground glass and other materials.
"I have been 35 years in screen printing and I know about inks and what they are made from.
"I ended up making a coating which is a printable plastic ink. It reflects back and scatters the X-rays and is printed in a pattern.
"Small cut-outs in the design allow a large metal object or gun to show up the operator`s screen.
"I believe it is a compromise because it diffuses the image, allowing dangerous items to be seen without showing graphic detail."
Passengers are randomly selected to go through theX-ray scanners at several British airports. Under government legislation, anyone who refuses is turned away.
Bradshaw, from Poynton near Stockport, is yet to test his underwear with a scanner but has written to the Department of Transport to seek approval.
Professor Nick Bowring, an scanner expert at the Manchester University, believes Bradshaw`s technology could work.
He said: "Using a material to reflect X-rays and "blind" the back-scatter machine would be an effective way to prevent outlines of any body parts from being seen.
"But the detection of the reflective material itself would be very easy and obvious.
"It would appear as a bright region on the image and people presenting with such areas would certainly be stopped and subject to a manual search."