NIOSH Testimony on Flight Attendants and Airport Ground Crew Workers by J. M. Melius, August 16, 1980.
This testimony concerned the occupational health and safety problems of flight attendants and airport ground crew workers. Flight attendants have frequently report respiratory problems including cough, chest pain or tightness and palpitations. They have noticed increased prevalence of reproductive problems including menstrual difficulties, miscarriages, and birth defects. They also complain of frequent headaches, swollen ankles, back pain, and other musculoskeletal problems. Many hours at high altitudes may subject these workers to increased radiation and ozone (10028156) exposures. They may also be exposed to carbon-monoxide (630080) and hazardous components of jet exhaust and cigarette smoke. They were subject to frequent changes in cabin pressure, to an atmosphere of low humidity, and to continual vibration and noise. They experienced frequent time zone and schedule changes and must lift and move heavy objects in confined quarters. Studies of the ground crew workers have concentrated on baggage handlers, fuelmen, warehouse and air freight personnel, ramp workers, and airport and aircraft maintenance personnel including welders, electricians, mechanics and other skilled craft workers. Studies concerned with safety, noise, jet fuel and jet exhaust, radiation, weather conditions, and other problems of these occupations were discussed.