Daily News Archive
Passengers and Crew Have A Right to Freedom From Pesticides
Sign Petition Today!
(Beyond Pesticides, March 2, 2004) The Association
of Flight Attendants (AFA) recently launched an online petition
to generate signatures in order to show the airlines and the Department
of Transportation (DOT) that airline passengers and crew do not want
to be sprayed with pesticides during a flight, and that passengers would
choose to fly with an airline that does not spray over one that does.
The Association of Flight Attendants’ Air Safety, Health and Security
Department (ASHSD) points out that “pesticide application in the
occupied or soon-to-be occupied aircraft cabin and cockpit can be a
serious health hazard for crewmembers and passengers. Pesticide exposure
can be significant and some crewmembers must work in the sprayed environment
regularly and repeatedly. Approximately 50 countries require pesticide
spraying on all or selected flights, apparently to prevent the importation
of insects that either carry tropical disease or damage plant/animal
health. The cabin may also be pre-treated in a country that does not
require pesticide spraying. There are no requirements to inform either
crewmembers or passengers prior to ticket purchase or flight.”
AFA reports that the pesticides commonly sprayed within aircraft cabins
are the synthetic pyrethroids permethrin and d-phenothrin, as well as
solvents, and in some cases, propellants. Reported symptoms include
acute respiratory and sinus problems, rash/hives, headache, and anaphylactic
shock, as well as chronic immune, respiratory, and neurological problems.
AFA advocates the use of non-chemical means of disinsection such as
the air curtain technology being tested at a US Department of Agriculture
lab in Florida, under the direction of the Department of Transportation.
AFA applauded American Airlines when they volunteered to participate
in on-aircraft testing of these air curtains in early 2004. More information
regarding air curtain technology is available from Beyond Pesticides’
Daily News story Department
of Transportation Begins Study of Alternative to Pesticides on Airplanes.
Murawski, an industrial hygienist with AFA, is speaking on this controversial
issue at the 22nd
National Pesticide Forum, Unite for Change: New Approaches to Pesticides
and Environmental Health, which will be held April
2-4, 2004 at the University of California, Berkeley. Register for the
or contact Beyond Pesticides
for more information.
TAKE ACTION: Show the airlines and the Department
of Transportation that passengers and crew do not want to be sprayed
with pesticides during a flight, and that passengers would choose to
fly with an airline that does not spray over one that does. Go to http://thiscause.org/p/menu.php?p=AFL_CIO34967,
and then click on "sign petition."