If your late-summer journeys involve an airport, you may encounter a new security apparatus: the backscatter scanner . As an extra safety precaution after the Dec. 25 attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner, 1,000 of the scanners are to be installed in the country's airports by the end of 2011. Although some scientists have raised health concerns about the use of the machine on millions of travelers— including increased risk of developing a common skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma — Dr. John Kuta with Radiology Associates of Richmond says that a single scan involves significantly less radiation than a dental X-ray. "It is probably low risk," Kuta says, but children, pregnant women or people who have been exposed to significant radiation may want to opt for a pat-down. The Richmond International Airport does not currently use a backscatter scanner, says spokesman Troy Bell. He adds that he's not aware of any plans to bring one to RIC.