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Airline Passengers are Being Sprayed with Toxic Pesticides: Here’s What You Need to Know

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 13:21
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October 13th, 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

On my first trip to India about a decade ago, I distinctly remember when the plane landed, the interior of the aircraft was sprayed by the flight attendants — with all the passengers still in it. A vague announcement had been made beforehand, claiming everything needed to be disinfected. At the time, I wasn’t thrilled about some unknown aerosol being forced upon us, but promptly forgot about it. I never encountered it again during subsequent international air travel, and simply thought it was a fluke with that particular flight.

Jump to the present and a series of articles have come across the news wire recently, bringing attention to the fact that the practice is alive and well. But it isn’t always obvious — often, the interior surfaces are treated with a residual spray before passengers board. As it turns out, the aerosol isn’t a disinfectant at all, but actually a pesticide and neurotoxin that has been linked to a range of health issues — like cancer, endocrine disruption and autoimmune disorders.

The Common Practice of Insecticide Use Within Airplane Cabins

The first question that comes to mind regarding the spraying of pesticides on airplanes is a resounding why? Why would insecticides be sprayed throughout a pressurized tube with recirculated air, where people — children, pregnant women and the elderly included — are captive for hours at a time?

For the World Health Organization (WHO), the answer is simple:bugs. Those nasty pests who spread unpleasant diseases like malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever — and now the Zika Virus, as well as insects that can seriously damage crops. The practice is known as “disinsection” and it’s considered a public health measure, one that is mandated by International Health Regulations.


Recommended reading by Carolanne Wright:

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