By SCOTT WARTMAN
The Cincinnati Enquirer
ERLANGER, KY - A lawyer and blogger believes his new business has a solution for those wanting to protect their modesty without making a scene while going through full body scanners at airports.
Marcus Carey started an apparel line in mid-December that sells clothing with strategically placed patriotic emblems made of special ink he claims will blur out a person's private parts on the image of the scanner.
ScannerShirts.com offers women's shirts with stars over the nipples and children's shirts with emblems at the bottom, over the genitals. Briefs and boxers with U.S. or eagle-themed logos in front are also sold on the site.
Carey said the recipe for the ink is a trade secret but says it blurs the X-ray image of what's underneath.
News reports of people walking into the airport in their underwear as a protest to the full body scanners and airline passengers being detained for refusing the scanners inspired him to create ScannerShirts.com and launch it two weeks before Christmas.
"One story that disturbed me was a mother who was put into a holding cell for hours while officials determined what to do because she refused to go through the scanner and have her breast milk irradiated," Carey said. "I thought there is a better way to get people through the line, make sure they are not delaying other passengers, not doing anything that amounts to protest, but protecting your privacy."
On the Internet, companies are selling metallic ink clothing, some with the Fourth Amendment written on them, as a means of modesty or social protest. Carey wouldn't say whether the ink for his products is similar or not.
Carey won't say how many shirts and pairs of underwear he's sold, but said the first two weeks of sales exceeded expectations.
Transportation Security Administration spokesman Jim Fotenos couldn't comment on whether this type of clothing works, but said anything unusual detected by airport scanners could cause more hassle for the traveler.
"Any item that appears to be an anomaly will require additional screening," Fotenos said.
Carey said all of his customers who wore shirts through security checkpoints at airports over the holiday got through without any problems.
Scanner shirts only blur out the genitals and breasts, areas where TSA has said it won't search during the pat downs, Carey said.
Carey said he believes the full body scanners are an invasion of privacy with no security benefits.
"If we are required to do it to get on a plane, let's do it in a way that we don't give up our rights and let the line move speedily," Carey said.
Carey said he will market his shirts nationally on television, radio and print in 2011.
"We're hoping the campaign will be fully fleshed out by Valentine's (day)," Carey said.
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I don't want to blur it, I want to make it look bigger.
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