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Flying in airplane exposes travelers to harmful radiations

Travelling by airplane has become a necessity more so than leisure. In just a span of few hours, areas covered by thousands of miles can be covered. While flying has certainly made our lives easier, we take the journey for granted. Simply put, not many of us are actually aware of the threat posed by airplanes or flying at greater heights.

It is not about the risk of an accident, rather it has more to do with the radiations coming out of the deeper space. In fact, these radiations can potentially be so dangerous that scientists feel its equivalent to standing near a nuclear reactor!

Why flying is not always a safe option?

Well, you might have not heard or read about the threat posed by flying. You assume yourself to be safe because you are protected by the external body of the airplane. One research study would tell you otherwise!

When flying at a greater elevation, you are actually out of the earth’s protective layer. Which as a result puts you much closer to all sorts of radiations that can seep into the body cells. The radiations are formed due to the collision of stars, black holes or any other source. Far from how they are formed, it is important to realize that they are considered dangerous to your health.

The radiations have a name and are called Cosmic Rays. They consist of cores of atoms including iron and nickel. More importantly, at any given time they are moving randomly in the outer space with the speed of light.

In normal circumstances, these radiations would hit the earth but are not considered dangerous for anyone on the ground. Primarily because the earth’s magnetic field is able to deviate the rays. However, you are at a far greater risk of being exposed when you are flying in an airplane.

A greater elevation draws you away from the earth protective shield allowing for the particles to enter the body. As a consequence, the ionized radiation formed from the cosmic rays can pose a threat to the DNA. This can result in health complications like infertility, cognition issues and in some cases may lead to cancer.

What about airplane staff?

The above-mentioned discussion should tell you a lot about the safety issue of airplanes. No matter, how much we emphasise that flying has made our lives easier, we can not overlook the dark side. The dark side that suggests airplane to be a breeding ground for cosmic rays.

Which in a wider sense raises an important issue about the safety of airplane staff. The cabin crew members fly on a daily basis and unknowingly (or knowingly) subjecting themselves to harmful radiations. Scientists have gone to the extent of calling airplane employees as “radiation workers.” The job, as fancy as it might appear to be, is no safer than working in a nuclear reactor.

According to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Management, airplane workers have the highest rate of radiation exposure. Possibly because, unlike working in a nuclear reactor, no safety measures are executed. It is, therefore, the need of the hour for airline companies to ensure safety standards of the airplanes. In a way that does not allow the entry of any sort of radiation from deeper space.

Reference:

https://ncrponline.org/PDFs/2012/DAS_DDM2_Athens_4-2012.pdf

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

One Comment

  1. Sorry, but 1 hour of flight is about the same extra radiation as you’d get spending 3 days in Colorado. This is thousands of times below the level that there is any evidence of harm. The nuclear industry under ALARA has essentially an unofficial safety factor of at least 1,000x. It’s not that flying is “can potentially be so dangerous that scientists feel its equivalent to standing near a nuclear reactor!”, but really that a reactor is made so safely that being near one is so harmless as to be on par with flying in a plane.

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