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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-90-226-2281, Alaska Airlines, Seattle, Washington.
Sussell A; Singal M
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 90-226-2281, 1993 Jan; :1-76
In response to a request from the Association for Flight Attendants, an evaluation of potential employee exposure to toxic gases and lack of oxygen aboard flights of Alaska Airlines (SIC-4512), Seattle, Washington was conducted. The company employed a total of 1,280 flight attendants at the time of the study. Flight attendants had experienced symptoms attributed to cabin air quality on MD-80 aircraft. Symptoms included headache, dizziness, blurred vision, mental confusion, and numbness. Environmental monitoring was conducted aboard three test flights and 13 commercial flights. Carbon-monoxide (630080) levels were well below the altitude adjusted NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit of 20 parts per million. No toxic exposure or lack of oxygen was identified. A log of illness incidents and medical records for 44 of 192 potentially affected flight attendants were reviewed. The authors conclude that no plausible work related etiologic exposure that would account for persistent neurologic findings among some flight attendants was found. The authors recommend that better record keeping, continued investigation of illness incidents by a joint labor and management committee, and increased cabin ventilation during gate time be instituted.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; HETA-90-226-2281; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-10; Aircrews; Indoor-air-pollution; Air-quality-control; Toxic-gases; Occupational-exposure; Indoor-environmental-quality; Author Keywords: air transportation, scheduled; aircraft; cabin air quality; carbon monoxide; flight attendants; indoor environmental quality
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
AK; WA; OH
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division