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Cancer at 41,000 Feet: An Insider Tells All
Exclusive YOWUSA.COM Tell-all Interview With an Aviation Expert
Foreword by Marshall Masters
This article initiates what will be a lengthy series of articles by YOWUSA.COM to examine the health risks posed by modern commercial air travel. While many so called experts assure us that our concerns are much ado about nothing, the fact is that flight-related health problems are changing in direct response to the way the industry itself is being managed — and for the worse.
To understand why this is happening does not mean getting the ‘right' answers. Rather, to truly understand it, you need to know the ‘right' questions. That is, if you're ready to peel back the misleading subterfuge of simplistic answers.
This Is Not Much Ado About Nothing
The airline industry is presently going through a painful self-examination of the health risks associated with present day commercial flights, especially the long-haul international flights. Why, because air crews are experiencing dramatically elevated flight-related health problems.
These include skin cancer of the nose for pilots and breast cancer amongst senior cabin attendants with over five years of seniority. Likewise , passengers are also exposed to elevated health risks such as deep vein thrombosis, a sudden death problem for passengers and air crews alike.
After several months of examining this issue, we at YOWUSA.COM have seen the evidence of very real human suffering that is both immediate and real.
If this human tragedy could be compared to bottom of clear water pond, then the lily pads which clutter the surface and obscure our view of the bottom are the scientific pundits who debate this issue at arm's length.
On one hand we see a great deal of expert hand-wringing and precautions about scaring the traveling public with a perception the commercial aviation has become dangerous to our health. The bulk of it comes of ‘knowledgeable' American sources.
On the other, we see Virgin Atlantic Airways, taking a brave, proactive stance on this issue. As a result of their high moral sense of duty to their passengers and air crews they are leading the world's air carriers with a timely and professional examination of this vital issue.
The difference between the two points of view is dramatic. American ‘experts' are looking around, under, over, to the left of, to the right of and just straight through the real people who are suffering real problems today. In their eagerness to foster a confusing debate about air travel-related health issues, the best we can hope for from these American ‘experts' is another go-nowhere global warming Kyoto treaty and a general consensus that there is no consensus.
Well, YOWUSA.COM is not buying into another technomuddle full of ‘right' sounding answers and signifying nothing. Like Virgin Atlantic Airways, we SEE THEM and we shall never lose sight of THEM — those who have, are and will suffer.
When we say "technomuddle" what do we mean? Is there a clear example? Yes, and to illustrate the kind of reporting you receive during this series let's take a quick look at the published findings of the FAA. In this report, two flights are mentioned. Athens, Greece to New York, USA and Houston, Texas to Austin, Texas.
FAA, October 2000
Consider A crewmember who declares pregnancy after 1 month and continues working 80 airborne hours per month on the long, high-altitude flight from Athens to New York city. The monthly dose to the conceptus would be about 0.57 millisievert, which would exceed the recommended monthly limit of 0.5 millisievert
The questions this document fails to address:
Mentioned in this report is "Table 2-Effective Doses of Galactic Radiation Received on Air-Carrier Flights" which shows a flight from London to Dallas/Ft. Worth TXthatkeeps the aircraft in the solar radiation alert region for a total of 9.7 hours while the Athens to New York flight keeps the aircraft in the alert region for a total time of approximately 4.7 hours.
After reading the reports, another set of questions come to mind.
If the FAA were to respond that this report has been updated, they would be correct, but only in that the data gathering programs (and not the data gathered) and help files have been updated. Not the reports! We're still looking at information that is years old and published before our sun started on this latest frenzy of activity.
Where Do We Balance of Money and Lives?
The stakes are high for the airline industry (and the governments that tax their operations and customers) and so the first inclination is to avoid a scare that would devastate the industry. But then again, wasn't this the very kind of thinking that cost NASA two space shuttle flight crews? Was this the kind of thinking that send the Titanic on its maiden voyage with barely half the number of life boats needed to ensure the survival of all the souls onboard?
Likewise, are government and industry leaders now employing the same "cost-effective" rational by shoving more commercial flights into higher altitudes and closer together and thereby exposing all souls on board to unnecessary health risks? And are they intentionally short-changing the flying public in terms of the fresh air and leg room they need to stay healthy to reduce their costs of pushing ever smaller coach seats across our oceans?
In the meantime, those of who love those rock-bottom airfares and can do without the re-heated lasagna to save a buck are flying on a wing and prayer. Yes, we're the ones driving the capitalistic process whereby economic expediency oversteps its bounds and stealthily robs us of our safety — all in the name of the almighty dollar. Not only the ones the airlines and governments put into their own pockets, but the ones we save thinking that we're more the clever for it.
Will It Take a Titanic-like