The WALL STREET JOURNAL recently had a section about airplane safety. Not of the pilots or airplane but of the air and passengers on board. Here are some of the highlights/myths:
1. It isn't likely that you can catch an illness from just being in a plane. You are more likely to get something from a co-worker or family member you come closer in contact with. However, ask the flight attendant if you can be re-seated if sitting next to someone with a sickness.
2. Every airline has different practices when doing more extensive cleaning of their aircraft. Some will do it overnight (such as Northwest) and others on a schedule depending on what the aircraft is doing. But most do deep cleaning about every 30 days.
3. Don't drink the water in a lavatory or on an airplane. In 2004, the EPA found 12.7% of tested aircraft showed a positive reading for total coliform bacteria. They are doing more to monitor the water, but don't drink it.
4. The air in planes is dry, but actually SAFER than most homes and businesses. Airplanes receive about half of the air from outside the aircraft and passes through a high-efficiency particulate air filter which removes contaminants.
So, flying isn't as dangerous as you thought. Are you surprised?
Check out the WALL STREET JOURNAL for more. Check out the April 24th, 2007 version.