Airplane Air: Just How Unhealthy Is It?

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The air quality in commercial aircraft is a real problem for both travelers and airline employees. The National Research Council found evidence suggesting that air circulating in passenger cabins may contribute to a wide variety of health problems. Among the hazards noted: overexposure to ozone levels, inadequate oxygen pressure and air contaminated with traces of engine oil, hydraulic fluid, de-icing solutions and even pesticides (sprayed on international flights).

To address these concerns, consider:

  1. Traveling with a portable personal air purifier (check with the flight crew before using any portable electronic device while in flight).
  2. Avoiding alcohol during flights to reduce your body’s toxic burden.
  3. Drinking plenty of filtered water to help flush out toxins. It’s best to carry your own stainless steel water bottle and utilize the fill stations located at many airports now.
  4. Taking an herbal supplement that supports immune health such as echinacea before you get on the plane.

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