Flying Is A Dangerous Way To Travel
Falling out of the sky isn't
the only way that aeroplanes can damage your health.
Airlines claim that the
statistics show that air travel is one of the safest ways to move
Don't believe them.
The airlines only count the people who
die or fall seriously ill while in their aeroplanes. They don't count the
travellers who fall ill after they have left the airport.
Apart from the
fact that passengers are crammed into seats which are too small for safety, the
air on aeroplanes is a lending library of germs.
Here are some more
health hazards associated with flying:
1.The easiest way to get
tuberculosis is to board an aeroplane and simply breathe in the recycled air.
Other bugs are commonly redistributed among the passengers. If there is anyone
on board with a cold or flu there's a chance that you'll get it
2.The radiation on a transatlantic flight is equivalent to what you
would get during a chest X-ray.
3. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT for short)
affects hundreds of people every year. The risk of DVT is greater in passengers
travelling in economy class, who are crammed into seats that would be a tight
fit for an anorexic twelve year old. To reduce the risk try clenching your calf
muscles at regular intervals to stimulate blood circulation. Don't cross your
legs. Walk about frequently. Also, wriggle your feet and massage your lower legs
and ankles. Avoid socks and knee-high stockings with tight elastic. And make
sure that you drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine and alcoholic drinks as
these can dehydrate the body.
4. The dry air and high air pressure in an
aircraft cabin can result in dehydration. The alcohol and coffee they are so
determined to get you to drink will just make things worse.
5. The stress
of flying is so great that people who have high blood pressure or heart disease
are more likely to have strokes and heart attacks while flying.
Sitting down for long periods can make your feet and ankles swell - causing
7. When a plane goes up the gas in your lungs expands. If you have
asthma the air may not be able to get out easily - causing chest pain. Smoking
on planes can cause asthma (and if you travel on airlines which allow smoking
you are dramatically increasing your chances of developing cancer.)
Pressure on your eardrum can cause pain. (Sucking a sweet or holding your nose
and swallowing can help.)
9. Gas expands in the intestine and can cause
abdominal pains and exacerbate all the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Anxiety and rushed meals can make things worse. To avoid this problem move
around; lean forward and then back or get up and walk about to try and allow the
gas to move about in your intestines.
10. Trapped gas in decaying teeth
or fillings can cause toothache.
11. If the food or water doesn't poison
you there is a risk that you'll be beaten up by a fellow passenger who has drunk
too much duty-free booze.
Airlines like to pretend that flying is
Don't believe them. It isn't. Flying makes bull-fighting look risk
Copyright Vernon Coleman 2003