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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2003-0364-3012, Mesaba Airlines, Inc., Minneapolis, MN.

Tubbs RL
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 2003-0364-3012, 2006 Aug; :1-31
On September 8, 2003, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a confidential union request from Mesaba Airlines in Minneapolis, Minnesota about the work conditions inside the aircraft passenger cabin. Specifically, the request identified concerns about noise levels and air contaminants in the aft vestibule of the cabin during aircraft operations. An onsite evaluation was conducted November 8-12, 2004, out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Twenty flight attendants volunteered to wear a noise dosimeter for most of their work shift. Additionally, area samples for noise and air contaminants were taken in 10 aircraft flown by Mesaba Airlines. The results of the noise and air sampling revealed that the flight attendants had exposures that were generally below applicable occupational exposure limits. The air contaminants were all below the criteria, and only 1 of 20 noise dosimeter measurements exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit for occupational noise. Exposures found in the passenger cabins during the NIOSH investigation were consistently below the relevant occupational limits. Air contaminants were identified, but in concentrations that are not considered to pose an increased risk for health effects. The noise levels were generally also below evaluation criteria, but a few of the personal samples approached or exceeded the limits. Based on these results, the NIOSH investigator recommended periodic monitoring of the occupational noise exposures and their effects on the flight attendants' hearing.
Region-5; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Noise; Noise-exposure; Noise-measurement; Hearing; Organic-chemicals; Organic-compounds; Organic-solvents; Aircrews; Flight-personnel; Volatiles; Author Keywords: Air passenger carriers; scheduled); commercial airline; flight attendants; noise; carbon monoxide; aircraft cabin air pollution; noise dosimetry; volatile organic compounds
630-08-0; 108-88-3; 111-76-2
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: January 27, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division