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Radiation Effects On Flight/cabin Crew  
User currently offlineKevin From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 1142 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6330 times:

There is popular belief that I was not able to confirm. I was told by one of the doctors that flight/cabin crew are exposed to an enormous amount of radiation in flight. It kinda makes sense since radiation at 36000ft is stronger than it is down here. On top of that they are exposed to massive pressurization and are breathing recycled air, not to mention the airline food that's full of preservatives and has been frozen and heated with dry heat. Can anyone shed some light on the situation?

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTesko From Canada, joined Jul 2008, 19 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6307 times:
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Airline pilots recieve on average 9mSv per year from the higher gamma radiation exposure. The average background radiation that say Canadians would recieve per year would be around 2 to 3 mSv per year.

User currently offlineJetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1645 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6300 times:
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Besides the exposure to radiation, I was also reading recently that airline pilots also have a higher incidence of skin cancers on their faces, ironically First Officers on their right side of the faces and Captains on their left side due to their exposure to sunlight at the higher altitudes.

JetStar


User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3591 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6286 times:



Quoting Tesko (Reply 1):
Airline pilots recieve on average 9mSv per year from the higher gamma radiation exposure. The average background radiation that say Canadians would recieve per year would be around 2 to 3 mSv per year.

Soi it is like an extra chest x-ray per year. Not what I would term "enormous"

Quoting Kevin (Thread starter):
There is popular belief that I was not able to confirm. I was told by one of the doctors that flight/cabin crew are exposed to an enormous amount of radiation in flight. It kinda makes sense since radiation at 36000ft is stronger than it is down here. On top of that they are exposed to massive pressurization and are breathing recycled air, not to mention the airline food that's full of preservatives and has been frozen and heated with dry heat. Can anyone shed some light on the situation?

The pressurization is not "massive" as it is actually lower pressure than sea level (about 10,000'). Some scuba divers are exposed to "massive pressurization" but not airline flight personnel.

The "recycled air" is changed more times per hour than an average home or office, and is cleaned by hepa-filters.

Frozen food heated with "dry heat". Much of the frozen food you buy at the grocery is heated with "dry heat". The tool is called an oven. It was the norm for a long time before the microwave. (BTW, the microwave is also a "dry heat").

A pilot or FA in more danger walking across the street than from any workplace hazard.


User currently offlineDreamsUnited From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 264 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6252 times:

In my ATP class we were discussing this, my teacher (furloughed UA Captain) brought in an article saying that contrary to the "extra radiation" that pilots get through their career, they in fact live longer after retirement than others.

-DreamsUnited



Do not abort a takeoff because a cockpit window pops open!
User currently offlineWdleiser From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 961 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6195 times:



Quoting Jetstar (Reply 2):



Quoting Jetstar (Reply 2):
First Officers on their right side of the faces and Captains on their left side due to their exposure to sunlight at the higher altitudes.

I am bored and refuse to type this World Lit paper that is due in 2 hours.

But wouldn't it be more ironic if the F/O got the skin cancer on their left side and the CPT got it on their right side?


User currently offlineRwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2346 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5965 times:
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Quoting Jetstar (Reply 2):
Besides the exposure to radiation, I was also reading recently that airline pilots also have a higher incidence of skin cancers on their faces, ironically First Officers on their right side of the faces and Captains on their left side due to their exposure to sunlight at the higher altitudes.

Sailplane pilots began noticing that in the eighties. These days, long sleeved shirts and floppy hats, not to mention sunscreen, are almost universal.

Quoting DreamsUnited (Reply 4):
In my ATP class we were discussing this, my teacher (furloughed UA Captain) brought in an article saying that contrary to the "extra radiation" that pilots get through their career, they in fact live longer after retirement than others.

Errr... Airline pilots retire five years younger than most people? I would certainly expect people who retire at 60 to “live longer after retirement than” people who retire at 65.

While I don't know what data be being referenced, and they could well have *meant* "live longer than others" and confusingly included the incorrect qualifier, the "after retirement" qualifier is the kind of thing that raises “how to lie with statistics” red flags for me.


User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 7, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5770 times:



Quoting DreamsUnited (Reply 4):
, they in fact live longer after retirement than others.

I don't think retiring early is part of the figures.

Airline pilots as a group are probably much healthier than average retirees. Either industrial workers like my dad, or knowledge workers like me.

Screenings my health insurance is just starting to pay for after age 55, airline pilots are screened for before they were 50. Many started the screenings in their mid-40s.

Their work also pretty much eliminates obesity and being significantly out of shape.

I would not doubt it if airline pilots are the healthiest group of people at retirement by profession.


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