Technology - POLLUTION
TOXIC AIRCRAFT EMISSIONS:
PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY
The Natural Resources Defense Council recently released a report, FLYING
OFF COURSE, which demonstrated United States airports are major
air, water and noise pollution, but are excluded from MANY OF the rules
equally polluting corporations must follow. Since there are FEW standards or
regulations for aircraft emissions, local air quality boards are not able to
provide intervention or protection.
A study of the health impacts of exposure to aircraft produced emissions
among residents in the vicinity of Chicago's Midway Airport, found
significantly higher cancer rates than in the general population. As a
result, the NRDC subsquently recommended similar studies of health impacts be
conducted in all major U.S. airports.
Several studies of the effects of the toxic chemicals found in aircraft
emissions have been done in laboratory experiments with animals. These
chemicals have been uniqivaobly linked with cancer production in animals.
A study of residents near Boeing Field found persons impacted by aircraft
emissions had dramtically higher disease rates if all kinds. For example, a
48% higher death rate, a 57% higher asthma rate, 83% higher pregnancy
complication rate, and twice the number of hospitilzations for asthma. For
children, there was a 57% higher heart disease rate and a 36% higher cancer
rate. In addtion, the life span of those living near airports is 70 years,
compared to the 80 year average life span worldwide. Those effected by
airports have a quality of life similar to those in third world countries.
SInce pollution impacts can extend as far as a vicinity of 50 mile, many may
be damaged by toxic aircraft emissions.
A sample of air at Seattle's Sea-Tac Airport found the following
1,3-Butadiene , Freon 11, Freon 12, Methyl Bromide, Dichloromethane,
cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, Carbon Tetrachloride,
Benzene, Trichloroethylene, Toluene, Tetrachloroethene, Ethylbenzene,
o-Xylene, Styrene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene,
o-Dichlorobenzene, Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde, Acrolein, Acetone,
Propinaldehyde, Crotonaldehyde, Isobutyraldehyde, Methyl Ethyl Ketone,
Benzaldehyde, Veraldehyde, Hexanaldehyde, Ethyl Alcohol, Acetone, Isopropyl
Alcohol, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Butane, Isopentane, Pentane, Hexane, Butyl
Alcohol, Methyl Isobutyl Ketone, n,n-Dimethyl Acetamide, Dimethyl
m-Cresol, 4-Ethyl Toluene, n-Heptaldehyde, Octanal, 1,4-Dioxane, Methyl
Phenyl Ketone, Vinyl Acetate, Heptane, Phenol, Octane , Anthracene,
Dimethylnaphthalene (isomers), Flouranthene, 1-methylnaphthalene,
2-methylnaphthalene, Naphthalene, Phenanthrene, Pyrene , Benzo(a)pyrene,
1-nitropyrene, 1,8-dinitropyrene , sulfites, nitrites, nitrogen oxide,
nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen trioxide, nitric acid,
sulfur oxides, sulfur dioxide, sulfuric acid, urea, ammonia, carbon
monoxide, ozone, particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5)
These chemicals can have the following
LIVER DAMAGE, LUNG STRUCTURE DAMAGE, LUNG DISEASE, ASTHMA,
EMPHYSEMA, KIDNEY DAMAGE, MUTATIONS, MYELOID LEUKEMIA, LYMPHOMA, BRAIN
CANCER, HODGKIN'S DISEASE, TUMORS, SYSTEMIC IRRITATION, LACRIMATION,
DELAYED HYPERSENSITIVITY, MULTIPLE ORGAN INVOLVEMENT, RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
DAMAGE, SKIN AND EYE IRRITANT, EEG CHANGES, NASAL EFFECTS, CONJUNCTIVE
IRRITATION, NAUSEA, VOMITING, MUSCLE WEAKNESS, FLUSHING, PULSE RATE
DECREASE, MENTAL DEPRESSION, HALLUCINATIONS, DISTORTED PERCEPTIONS,
DYSPNEA, HEADACHE, DROWSINESS, ASPHYXIATION , (SOME LISTED EFFECTS ARE
EXPERIMENTAL, CONFIRMED IN ANIMAL TESTS AND SUSPECTED IN HUMANS) PULMONARY
IRRITATION, LUNG TIGHTNESS, COUGHING, WHEEZING , HEART DISEASE, CANCER
Specific chemicals and the known
effects in aircraft emissions are:
- Benzene has long been known as an irritant to skin and eyes. It also has
been shown to cause changes in bacterial cell cultures and has shown embryo
toxic activity as well as carcinogeneity. Skin contact can cause dermatitis,
drying and inflammation and other effects. In animals, inhalation caused
blood, lymphatic and other diseases.
Acute inhalation can cause dizziness, weakness, headache, nausea, blurred
vision, respiratory diseases, liver and kidney diseases and unconsciousness.
Chronic exposure to even relatively low levels causes headaches, loss of
appetite, drowsiness, nervousness, psychological disturbances and blood
diseases, including bone marrow diseases and anemia.
- Formaldehyde irritates the mucous membranes of the eyes, throat and nose.
It is also reactive and combines with protein to cause allergic dermatitis,or
rashes. The most common symptoms include eye irritation and headaches.
Previously, formaldehyde was linked mainly to asthma; however, the EPA has
recently conducted research which demonstrated formaldehyde is suspected of
causing a rare form of throat cancer.
There are some means to provide protection. NASA has recently announced the
ouctome of a two year research study that showed common indoor plants can
effectively filter formaldehye, benzene and carbon monoxide,(another component
of aircraft emissions). According to Dr. Bill Wolverton, former NASA senior
research scientist, "plants take (toxic) substances out of the air through the
tiny openings in their leaves----- But, research in our laboratories has
determined that plant leaves, roots, and soil bacteria are all important in
removing trace levels of toxic vapors".
The most effective plants for removing benzene, carbon monoxide and
formaldehyde are: Bamboo Palm, Chinese Evergreen, English Ivy, "Janet Craig"
Dracena, Mother-In-Law's Tongue, Pothos, Moss Cane/Corn Plant, Peace Lily,
Pot Mum, Gerbera Daisy, Marginata, and Warneckii.
Psychological research has shown lack of control can exacerbate depression
and vulnerability to disease. Therefore, taking whatever protective action
one can will reduce the toxic impact of the increased, yet still unregulated
aircraft emissions to which many are being exposed.