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Kilopond
Posts: 561
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:17 am

SomebodyInTLS wrote:

It's been known for decades... and it's already mentioned on this thread. It's not a surprise at all.

Background radiation at altitude is much higher than on the ground.[...]


Exactly! And this is why any airline operating under EASA legislation has to monitor all crew members for radiation exposure. It is done by mathematical models and reported annually. Background is the EU Directive 2013/59 EURATOM.
 
hiflyeras
Posts: 2264
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:06 pm

I wanted to thank those of you that left a kind word. I had a 'robotic prostatectomy' last December and so far the cancer is undetectable. I go in for a 'PSA' test every 3 months and would recommend that for any man over 50 that he have his PSA checked. I'm 60 and my doctor never chose to do one as part of my annual physical, only relying on the dreaded finger up the bum.

Reading everyone's thoughts on possible carcinogens in the aircraft cabin makes me think hard about retiring early. I was planning on sticking around until 65, god willing, but now am not so sure! Fortunately I've not had a major 'air quality' incident...oh, maybe many years ago a smelly pac or a little de-icer sucked into the apu but that was long before avoiding those issues was on the radar like it is today. But it still happens...you read about it frequently where an aircraft had to make an emergency landing due to a bad 'smell' in the cabin or a crew sent to a hospital.
 
winginit
Posts: 2931
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:23 pm

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:00 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
It's because they go through the metal detectors at airport security at least once every day.


Uhm... no.

LupineChemist wrote:
Isn't there a notably higher radiation exposure at altitude?


Ding ding ding! We have a winner
 
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casinterest
Posts: 11783
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:30 am

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:05 pm

So where is the study on Pilots?
One would see a causality of flight and altitude if Pilots suffered the same rate, as they are in the same environment.
Where ever you go, there you are.
 
Waterbomber
Posts: 849
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:51 am

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:22 pm

I think that jet fuel should also be part of the discussion.

Here is a MSDS for Jet A:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... VXinuTsnUS

Danger
Hazard Statements : H226: Flammable liquid and vapor.
H304: May be fatal if swallowed and enters airways.
H315: Causes skin irritation.
H336: May cause drowsiness or dizziness.
H351: Suspected of causing cancer.
H372: Causes damage to organs (Eyes, Blood) through
prolonged or repeated exposure.

Radiation exposure can and has been measured in the past.
Jet A exposure is difficult to measure. I make sure to cover my mouth everytime that I smell fuel vapors.
Radiation can't be remedied except by reducing hours flown by each crew. Jet A exposure can be reduced significantly by adapting start-up procedures. (see bottom of post)

I can also share a personal experience. When I worked in aircraft maintenance, I was often exposed to jet fuel. I once had my arms drenched in jet fuel and a few days later, a mole started forming on each of my arms and grew to about 8 mm. This was so sudden and fast that I had it checked by a dermatologist. Fortunately it was benign and they disappeared by themselves after a while.
While working in aircraft maintenance I developped IBS and chronic l intestinal ulcers which disappeared months after I called it quits.
The floor in the hangars are coverd with toxic products used in maintenance. It wouldn't surprise me that they contaminate the carpets in the cabins when maintenance workers walk in and out of aircraft several times a day.

So it's not just pilots and cabin crew. Maintenance workers are also heavily exposed.

Pilots should avoid starting the APU until doors are closed. AC packs should also be kept off for a while after starting engines, until the aircraft is clear of the fumes. That avoids the cabin becoming contaminated. AC packs are very often switched on immediately after engine start, unfortunately.
 
Kilopond
Posts: 561
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:32 pm

casinterest wrote:
So where is the study on Pilots?[...]


Nobody needs such a kind of study anymore because it's common wisdom today that ionising radiation is potentially harmful. (Well, back in the 1950s people had been more naive. Watch "Duck and cover" or "A is for Atom" on a video site of your choice - and keep in mind that the propaganda of the then-enemy hadn't been any different).

Here is a well-written article from the responsible FRG authority:

https://www.bfs.de/EN/topics/ion/radiat ... oring.html

You'll also find a lot from the UK's http://www.caa.co.uk if you search for someting like "CAA pilots radiation".

EDIT: I just forgot to mention that Concorde crews had to wear personal dosimeters.
 
flydude380
Posts: 259
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:43 pm

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:18 pm

Do you think the pigment of your skin also increases/decreases the chances? For example, how prone are South Asian, African or Mediterranean crews in Southern Europe to developing cancer, compared to those that are fair and/or of Northern European descent.
 
tofur
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:51 pm

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:14 am

I believe the airlines know the risks to crew. At my company in co-operation with our union, we are provided with access to a website that measures our radiation exposure levels based on our actual schedules. We can check our levels at any time. Many colleagues are sent "notices" from the company advising them that their radiation exposure levels are high. The suggested remedy is choosing different aircraft and routes thereby reducing their liability. Most of them have been flying 787 routes.

I am not demonizing my company or the 787, lawyers basically run the airline companies. They are covering their behinds. One only has to look at our manuals to realize that lawyers have a hand in writing the regulations, policies and procedures. I really do enjoy working on the 787, but must admit I have changed my bidding to minimize my flying time on that particular aircraft.

My sincere best wishes to the cabin crew member diagnosed with cancer up thread. Starting my 37th year of flying and am sure that all the other exposure risks come in to play as well. That being said, I would not change my career choice for anything else. My other career choice was to be a journalist, finished my first year at university then became cabin crew. Later I finished a degree due to flexible schedule while flying. I was in Egypt doing the Hadj flights in 1981 when Anwar Sadat was assassinated. It made me think, wow two jobs in one. Being in places around the world as news is happening is exciting, as you experience first hand what is going on. The risks are real, but to me it has been worth it.
 
trauha
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:21 pm

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:29 am

There is additional loading on the body from chemicals used to treat the airline uniform fabrics to make them more resistant to staining and creases than regular fabric.
DC3, CONVAIR CV440, Sud Aviation Caravelle, BOAC VC10,Convair Coronado,BAE 1-11,Vickers Viscount. Pan Am 707 747, Saab 340 2000,TWA Lockheed TriStar, DC-8,9,10, MD11. 727,757,767.SHORT 330, CRJ200, ERJ145, E190. F27, A340-600. Atr42 72.
 
Ziyulu
Posts: 930
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:35 am

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:06 pm

SoCalPilot wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
It's because they go through the metal detectors at airport security at least once every day.


No they don't. Not in the US at least.


Wow, so flight attendants don't have to pass through security at U.S. airports?
 
hiflyeras
Posts: 2264
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:40 pm

The “Known Crewmember” program allows crew to access the concourse in major US cities and is staffed/administered by the TSA. To use, your airline must comply with strict rules. Smaller airports still require going through the same security as passengers.
 
planecane
Posts: 1577
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:58 pm

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:07 pm

hiflyeras wrote:
The “Known Crewmember” program allows crew to access the concourse in major US cities and is staffed/administered by the TSA. To use, your airline must comply with strict rules. Smaller airports still require going through the same security as passengers.


I fly out of MIA pretty frequently and it wasn't until my last trip that I put 2+2 together about not seeing crew at the security checkpoints. I was flying AA and they parked us in concourse F (first time that's happened to me). On the walk to baggage claim, I saw a sign that said AA Employee checkpoint or something like that. The directional arrow led to a doorway/hallway with the same sign on the wall.
 
SCQ83
Posts: 5786
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:32 pm

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:32 pm

Intuitively I imagine materials used in planes as well as chemicals have more to do than airplane manufacturers plead.

For instance, asbestos was very commonly used in the EU and the US until not many decades ago. Asbestos is still somehow legal in the US, but in the EU is completely forbidden. Even demolishing a building with asbestos (roughly every office or parking building in the 60s, 70s or 80s) takes very strict procedures to avoid contamination.

It would be in the very interest of Airbus, Boeing or the carriers to minimise the public knowledge of any toxic material used in commercial planes.
 
Speedalive
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:09 pm

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:55 pm

On the topic of in flight radiation, I read this interesting excerpt from the book “Canadian Aviation Weather” by Doug Morris:

”There is a popular fallacy which insists that flights over the polar routes receive more radiation. But a recent ACPA (Air Canada Pilot Association) study showed that Boeing 777 pilots that fly the polar routes have the lowest average dose rate of 4.5 uSv/hour, compared to an Embraer crew which clocks in at 6.5 uSv/hour. One explanation has to do with altitudes. When I flew the polar routes, it would take nearly ten hours for the aircraft to be light enough to climb to maximum cruising altitude. At lower altitudes, the air above offered protection, even though the flight was over the pole. As flights fly south into Russian airspace, more and more protection is obtained as the magnetic pole gets further away. As a result, longer domestic flights, and transcontinentals or “Transcons” on the Embraer and Airbus A320, wind up with higher dose rates.”

I wonder what the rates would look like for a polar flight in the 787 or A350 since they’re able to climb to much higher initial altitudes (eg: a B77L from YYZ to HKG might start at FL280 and slowly make their way up from there whereas an A359 flying from EWR to HKG could start at FL360).

As mentioned many times though, the cabin air is full of toxins which likely contributes to the higher cancer rates. I’m curious about how much of an impact the non-bleed air system in the 787 has had to reducing toxins in the cabin air.
 
Planesmart
Posts: 2891
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:18 am

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:43 pm

Speedalive wrote:
On the topic of in flight radiation, I read this interesting excerpt from the book “Canadian Aviation Weather” by Doug Morris:

”There is a popular fallacy which insists that flights over the polar routes receive more radiation. But a recent ACPA (Air Canada Pilot Association) study showed that Boeing 777 pilots that fly the polar routes have the lowest average dose rate of 4.5 uSv/hour, compared to an Embraer crew which clocks in at 6.5 uSv/hour. One explanation has to do with altitudes. When I flew the polar routes, it would take nearly ten hours for the aircraft to be light enough to climb to maximum cruising altitude. At lower altitudes, the air above offered protection, even though the flight was over the pole. As flights fly south into Russian airspace, more and more protection is obtained as the magnetic pole gets further away. As a result, longer domestic flights, and transcontinentals or “Transcons” on the Embraer and Airbus A320, wind up with higher dose rates.”

I wonder what the rates would look like for a polar flight in the 787 or A350 since they’re able to climb to much higher initial altitudes (eg: a B77L from YYZ to HKG might start at FL280 and slowly make their way up from there whereas an A359 flying from EWR to HKG could start at FL360).

As mentioned many times though, the cabin air is full of toxins which likely contributes to the higher cancer rates. I’m curious about how much of an impact the non-bleed air system in the 787 has had to reducing toxins in the cabin air.

Crew and passenger exposure to air and radiation have, since Concorde arrived, been of interest to the insurance industry, as they could involve claims, litigation and compensation.

One of the ICAO Met Working Groups is working with the ICAO CORSIA project team and insurance panel, with a view to updating radiation guidelines and requirements, including projecting the rate and impact of ozone depletion and holes. Some airlines participate in the research using concealed button-sized sensors.

After smoking was banned on commercial flights, cabin air quality improved, but has deteriorated subsequently as airlines and manufacturers focus on costs.

Cabin air quality is included in the ICAO crew safety working group terms of reference, though unsure of it's priority ranking.

Proactive crew lobbying for published standards, testing and results, will benefit crew, passengers and animals
 
kimimm19
Posts: 434
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:34 pm

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:42 am

An interesting video I've come across regarding this topic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zl1K3Bsi8Q

It seems to suggest the opposite.
 
flyjay123
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:07 am

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:23 pm

kimimm19 wrote:
An interesting video I've come across regarding this topic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zl1K3Bsi8Q

It seems to suggest the opposite.


Interesting about grounding pregnant crew; I've personally flown Australian and American airlines which had pregnant cabin crew. To my surprise, the latter airlines FA was heavily preregnant!
 
Galwayman
Posts: 902
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:20 am

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:06 pm

It’s the radioation levels

A one hour flight has more exposure to radiation than six hours in the Chernobyl exclusion zone
 
Wacker1000
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:36 pm

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:23 pm

Wonder if it has anything to do with half of them being geriatric?
 
af773atmsp
Posts: 2379
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:37 am

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:24 pm

Just when I thought flying couldn’t be more ruined by screaming children and security now this comes along.
DC10-40,MD88,A319,A320,A332,717,722,733,737,738,752,ATR-72,736,788,74M
SY,DL,FI,FL,BA,EI,NW,MG,DY,EZY,F9,WN,SN,ET,SK,KL,B6
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sixtyseven
Posts: 829
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:42 am

Re: Flight attendants have a higher rate of every cancer outcome, study says

Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:50 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
It's because they go through the metal detectors at airport security at least once every day.


Nonsense. Have a sense of what you’re talking about.
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