Aircraft Radiation Exposure

Some jobs have high radiation exposure. Aircraft radiation exposure results from workers getting high and thus exposed to more solar radiation. This is of course talking of airline pilots, crew, and frequent flier's.

As far back as the 1990’s governmental studies indicated that airline workers received greater exposure than nuclear power plant workers. This would likewise apply to those who are frequent fliers.

Because the suns output varies (remember the year when some radio signals were affected by sunspots), there may be times when even one flight under certain circumstances could be damaging to a pregnant woman.

Pregnancy Radiation Risks

Science points to the eighth week to the 15th weeks as being the most critical to protect the developing child from radiation exposure.

Actually in both Europe and the United States, flight crew are considered radiation workers. This may not be widely known in the United States where acceptable exposure levels are 50 times greater than the general public. In Europe, only 20 percent greater than the public is an acceptable exposure.

There are two factors to consider when looking at exposure. How much exposure and how long the time of exposure.

So the higher altitude that a crew flies in and the higher latitude the greater the aircraft radiation exposure in dose. A New York Times article from 1990 referred to a 1989 storm that produced a 110 millirem an hour dose. This took place at 65,000 feet and was near the poles. Although an unusual phenomena, many flights fly near the poles where the exposure is higher.

A flight from New York to Minneapolis was about 500 millirem and Houston to Austin would only be 20 millirem.

This compares with the average of 650 millirem that a nuclear power plant worker gets. The natural and man made sources of radiation we are exposed to in a year may be as much as 315 millirem a year (a chest x ray is 10 millirem).

Add to this longer periods of time and there is a risk for damage. By some estimates, this level of exposure puts these workers in the top 5 percent of radiation workers (ranked by exposure).

This could result in a lifetime increased risk of developing cancer. It also increases risk of pregnancy related health problems. Remember, the risk is the result of years of exposure.

The Government guidelines for radiation exposure for pregnant women place a limit of 50 millirem a month.

No dose is a safe dose. Since we cannot avoid exposure, there is an option. This involves helping our body to defend its self from aircraft radiation exposure and the subsequent damage.

Glutathione is the way the body protects its self from radiation exposure. Do you know the medical ways of treating radiation poisoning?

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