"TSA's response lacked any detail as to why the agency no longer believes an independent study on the health effects of X-ray backscatter machines is warranted, nor did it explain how the IG's review would be a sufficient substitute for an independent study," Collins said. "That is why I have introduced this bill today."

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Under her bill, S. 2044, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Science Foundation would have to study how X-ray radiation might affect passengers' health. The measure would require TSA to prepare other screening options for "sensitive groups" of people, such as pregnant women.

Collins said her bill was also prompted in part by the story of a pregnant woman who unknowingly went through an X-ray scanner at an airport, then miscarried.

"Only two weeks later, she suffered a miscarriage which she attributes to the radiation she received from this scan," Collins said. "We will never know for certain the cause of this family's loss, but they believe in their hearts that the backscatter radiation is to blame."

Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnPension insolvency crisis only grows as Congress sits on its hands Paul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism Republicans in Congress shouldn't try to bring back earmarks MORE (R-Okla.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinSen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some Democrats The Hill's 12:30 Report Congress needs bipartisanship to fully investigate Russian influence MORE (D-Mich.) are co-sponsors of the bill.