Further Information

Airliner Cabin Environment: Contaminant Measurements, Health Risks, And Mitigation Options (Dot-P-15-89-5) | US Department of Transports
Article Published: 1989

Type: Experimental and Technical
Funding Source: US Department of Transports
Published By: US Department of Transports

Further Information

"Space radiation called no major threath to flyiers".

" Airline travellers should not be worried about high-altitude exposure to radiation from space and the sun, U.S. experts said on Monday. … Government and airline scientists said existing evidence does not point to cosmic radiation as a major health issue. "I don't think it poses such a risk that people should be concerned abut flying," said Wallace Friedberg, head of radiobiology research at the Federal Aviation Administration's Civil Aeromedical Institute. "
What does this have to do with smoking and passive smoking? Nothing - and everything.

This ponderous study from 1989 is almost impossible to find anymore. There is a reason for that. The study showed that cosmic radiations are from 150 to 641 times more risky than passive smoking exposure as far as lung cancer is concerned.

It also showed that:
  • A passenger sitting in the area of the non smoking section bordering with the smoking section should fly 48,440 hours (5.5 years) to inhale the equivalent of one cigarette.
Yet smoking was forbidden by all the airlines in the world - forced by US legislation that forbade the landing in the US territory of any flight that respected the right to smoke. That was intended to eliminate consumer choice and competition by foreign airlines.

Since the prohibition, the quality of air in airplanes decreased significantly due to the loweing of air exchange - but that no longer  seems to be a concern whatsoever for the "public health" authorities.

This study shows, dramatically, how small the "danger" of ETS exposure really is, and that the decision to forbid smoking was not and it is not on the basis of real science and concern for public health, but only on that of gains for the airlines on the one hand, and for the creation of environments ostile to smokers on the other, to promote smoking cessation through pharmaceutical products.

In fact, to further demonstrate the incredible disjointment between the scientific observations of the study and its political conclusions, it is sufficient to read the conclusions: after having observed that cosmic radiation constitutes a risk for lung cancer over 600 times greater than that represented by passive smoking, which requires 5.5 years of continuous inhalation to smoke the equivalente of one cigarette (that means that a steward working full time for 20 years would inhale the equivalent of less than 4 cigarettes), the recommendation is to ban smoking on airplanes!

The link in the header connects to the entire study in PDF format. Below are the links to each chapter in both PDF format and html format.

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