View Full Version : TB on your plane??

Rob 747
4th Sep 2001, 14:05
Heard it today on the radio!

' Airlines have been warned that TB may be breeding in their aeroplanes. This is caused due to the limited oxygen supply. Not only will they breed TB but also a whole host of other infections. '

I have heard this rumour before, but i havent heard it about TB being spread!
:eek: :eek: :eek: :( :( :eek:

4th Sep 2001, 14:27
That would be Tony Blair on FR then!

Rob 747
4th Sep 2001, 14:35

4th Sep 2001, 14:51
FR = Ryanair
Recent holiday etc...

4th Sep 2001, 22:33
The following is a Reuters story on the above subject which goes into a little more detail. Not quite as scary as the radio version, but still not quieting. Also, how often do the service people change those filters?


Expert: Fliers risk infection on planes

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Airline passengers risk picking up viruses and infections due to the poor quality of recycled cabin air, a leading academic said on Tuesday.

Modern aircraft do not pump enough clean air into passenger cabins, chemistry professor Martin Hocking of Canada's University of Victoria said after a London conference on the subject.

"The filters that are used are very efficient, but there are still risks of the smaller particles, such as viruses, coming through," he said.

"And the filter does nothing to increase the oxygen levels, or decrease the carbon dioxide levels in the recycled air," he said, adding this could increase the risk of disease transmission.

Tuberculosis was among the diseases passengers could contract, though Hocking said the risk was slight.

"It is not so readily transmissible as some other illnesses such as flus and colds," he said.

Tuberculosis, which is endemic in some parts of the world, spreads through airborne bacteria, and can be caught by breathing air affected by an infected person's coughing or sneezing.

Airlines say planes are safe
But people grouped in a confined space always faced a certain amount of risk, Hocking said.

"I don't think anything (the airlines) could do would completely avoid it, because anyplace where people are gathered in close proximity will be at risk," he said.

"But if they could increase the outside airflow, if they could decrease the filter change interval, it should improve the (situation)."

Tim Goodyear, of the International Air Transport Association, rejected suggestions that airlines were saving money at passengers' expense.

He told BBC radio that cabins received a steady influx of fresh air amounting to 10 to 15 full exchanges of air every hour.

"The new-generation Boeing and Airbus aircraft are equipped with highly efficient particulate air filters similar to those used in hospitals and high-tech manufacturing, and that prevents the transfer of infectious organisms," Goodyear said.

Hugh Jampton
5th Sep 2001, 00:23
The portrayal of this aviation risk in the media is inflated much like others. Virus hitting passengers! What a story! Although the possibility exists, there are very few confirmed incidences of passengers being infected. Statistically there are much larger risks such as long-term radiation damage or short-term memory loss, particularly on long haul. All seems a bit overemphasised... :confused:

5th Sep 2001, 00:27
It is one person going against all the official medical sources, note he himself is not medically qualified (but may be expert on filtration). BBC TV news interviewed woman who had had an illness after travelling; and had been told by Doctor that such illnesses were common after travel, more likely that she picked up infection whilst on holiday - far greater exposure to unfamiliar illnesses. If you consider areas where TB (for example) is endemic, the locals who fly with you are those least likely to be infected.

5th Sep 2001, 00:52
TV report was going on about how Oxygen levels were sometimes below required levels, and would be below that allowed in an office on the ground!! What drivvle. Since when can you compare an office on the ground with an aircraft, and since when did any employer have control over O2 levels in his office - usually depends on its elevation!

Also, aircraft O2 levels are controlled by the pressurisation system which controls to a differential pressure (up to 7.9 psi) on the 737, resulting in cabin altitudes up to 8000 feet. The cabin altitude is never allowed to exceed this.

Sir Algernon Scruggs
5th Sep 2001, 01:12
Once again we have some professor who wants a bit of the limelight and so he rehashes some old research, tweaks it a bit and then invites the press to a slide show with some 'statistics' and voila! You have all the luvvie news editors wetting their pants with excitement over another scare story for the easily led followers of their dramatic license.

Not one of these editors have thought about the people who work in these environments day after day, the cabin crew. If this nutty professor had done any real research he would have done a study of the crews who work on aircraft day in and day out.

Shame on the BBC for their petty treatment of the subject. Their news broadcasts are becoming more and more disappointing by the day as they try to dumb down to Daily Mail standards with poorly researched pieces which are designed to slightly shock but are totally bland and worthless.

All day they have been drumming up this news and they brought in a CAA medical man and then the ATA had a spokesman who just stuttered and hummed and erred. To top it off they have a reporter talking [email protected] about airlines 'reducing' the fresh air and a piece on some woman who caught something on holiday but her ENT specialist told her it was from an aircraft. Like he was an expert! Just makes me sick to see this kind of shabby reporting and hyping up of peoples fears of flying.

Not one reporter has researched the air conditioning system of any aircraft and for them to pose stupid questions such as "why do airlines reduce the amount of oxygen in the aircraft cabin?". Not one has thought about the amount of recirculated air a group of people in close proximity to each other breath in a busy cinema for example.

Just makes me and no doubt many of the readers here think of those journalists and reporters and their editors with even more contempt. What a bunch of pathetic scaremongerers and the industry can't even field a few spokespeople who can show up these ignorant oiks.

Hugh Jampton
5th Sep 2001, 01:25
Sir, I agree.

Sir Algernon Scruggs
5th Sep 2001, 01:37
Just seen ANOTHER report on the BBC, local North West news, about Arlene McCarthy MEP campaigning in the European Parliament to make airlines take more responsibility for DVT. Wait for it, she has raised this issue after a local man died of DVT after a flight to Benidorm!

Now I know it is tragic, especially for the family and friends of the man who died and I am not trying to make light of their distress but to suggest that a two and a half hour flight was the actual cause without any investigation into the his normal lifestyle is just over dramatic reporting and the MEP is obviously after a few sound bites to increase her 'exposure'.

The report then goes on about how DVT is known as 'Economy Class Syndrome' because people are more likely to get DVT in that seating class. Have you ever heard such utter [email protected]?

Are all these people and reporters just trying to get on the '15 minutes of fame' bandwagon by quoting totally unresearched and unqualified statements? Are the BBC cutting back so much that the quality of their reporting has reached gutter level?

What about the millions of people who take car journeys over two and a half hours without a break or the countless numbers of holidaymakers who travel by coach, sometimes for days at a time? Are they dropping like flies because of the disease ridden, unrecirculated air and the swarms of blood clots rising forth from their legs?

Trial by media on subjects such as these are the latest fashion when these news editors are having a quiet news week. Dumbing down because they have no talent!

[ 04 September 2001: Message edited by: Sir Algernon Scruggs ]

Out Of Trim
5th Sep 2001, 04:17
It seems to me; that if the chances of contracting these viruses; TB etc - Then surely the cabin crew would be going sick with these long before passengers making only one flight! It stands to reason that all crews would be at a greater risk than one off passengers.

So, what have your crews experienced to date? :eek:

Tomb Raider
6th Sep 2001, 02:43
Not had a day off sick in over 4 yrs,seems to me any SLF taking the occasional flight or two has a pretty slim risk of contracting anything nasty.Usual journo tripe,me thinks. :rolleyes: