Airplane Air: Just How Unhealthy Is It?
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:
- Traveling with a portable personal air purifier (check with the flight crew before using any portable electronic device while in flight).
- Avoiding alcohol and OTC meds like acetaminophen during flights to reduce your body’s toxic burden.
- Drinking plenty of filtered waterto 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.
- Taking an herbal supplement that supports immune health such as echinacea or supports your liver like milk thistle before you get on the plane.
Today’s Health Topics
Ask Dr. Weil's Q&A