Date: 06 Jan 2000 01:26:25 From: james matthew weber <email@example.com> References: 1 2 3
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Russell Short wrote: > Erika <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote ... > >> It has arisen that 13 flight engineers flying for QF have died in the last > >> six years of brain tumours. Another unspecified amount have had cancerous > >> tumours removed by the various medical means available. > >> > >> According to a QF Senior Technical Specialist in avionics, fears have been > >> around for years regarding electric and magnetic fields around the FE panel > >> in the 747 Classic (and indeed other 3-crew aircraft). > > > >IY may be so ,but i know a QF engineer who is on the net all the time hes > >home here in Sydney...wants more electronic punishment,eh. > > Seriously, having now spoken to the wife of a dead QF flight engineer, I am > more surprised that more hasn't been done to shield these people from > electromagnetic radiation. The poor woman is convinced that her husband was > a slow victim of radiation in the cockpit. Of the 13 flight engineers that > died at QF over a period of six years (one had been retired for six months, > another for a year), ALL had tumours develop in the front lobes of their > brain, suggesting that the electromagnetic radiation came from directly in > front and/or above*. > > *Note: secondary information gathered from the wife. > > I know where *not* to carry my mobile phone.... Radiation a distinct possibility, but generated by the aircraft, I think not.. If you understood a little about electric and magnetic field theory, you would understand that much of what you have said borders on absurd. At 400hz, the human body is probably more transparent to electric fields and magnetic fields than glass is to light.. That says that such fields would penetrate the body from one end to the other, so if the cause was in fact the 400hz fields produced by aircraft systems, I would expect them to turn up in everyone who works in the cockpit, and be uniformly distributed through the body. Even in a good conductor, the skin depth at 400hz is in meters, so Electric and magnetic field shielding for 400hz on an aircraft is not a practical option. You don't route vast amounts of power through the cockpit either. HIgh power devices are controlled by contactors (relays), the high power wiring and high power devices are not in the cockpit, the controls for it are. Translation: No good source for large fields in the cockpit either. Until or unless you are prepared to have an epidemiologist, who is experienced in identifying risk factors, looking at these cases, this is speculation that may have very little basis in fact. Did the Flight Engineers smoke? Did they consume alcohol? Any of them ever use Benzene, TCE or similar as a solvent or cleaner? Has anyone calculated the lifetime radiation exposure (which is a well known carcinogen) as a result of jet travel (and potential increased risk)? There are are well established risk factors. Did you know that the exposure the cockpit crew gets in Concorde on an hourly basis (it often exceeds 2 mrem per hour) often exceeds what a nuclear generating plant worker is permitted on an hourly basis!). A study done for the FAA concluded that on average, aircrew get more occupational radiation exposure than nuclear power plant workers! The higher you fly the worse it gets. A trip from Los Angeles to Sydney on a 747 is roughly equivalent to 2 chest X-rays. A career of flying at 1000 hours per year produces a sizable ionizing radiation exposure.. There is no shortage of potential causes that have well established links to cancer, so why insist that there is a link to a source whose relationship with cancer is notable for its absence? Until or unless the facts are investigated by a competent epidemiologist, these claims are highly speculative, and as I have just pointed out, operating an aircraft at 39,000 feet for a living carries a significant occupational Ionizing Radiation exposure, which is well established and well understood carcinogen. (British Airways actually limits Concorde flight crew to 500 hours per year as a result, and Concorde is actually equipped with a Radiation alarm.) Were you aware that QANTAS pilots and first officers also have unusually high rates of skin cancer? I'll give you a hint. Pilots tend to get it on the left arm, first officers tend to get it on the right arm. Is it related the fields generated by the aircraft? Very unlikely, the arms in question however regularly get a good healthy dose of sunshine especially if they crew wears short sleeves. UV from the sun is another well known and understood cause of skin cancers. At this point we have almost 50 years experience with people living and working in electric and magnetic fields far higher than mobile phones (Police and Military walkie Talkies produce higher fields than mobile phones, as do most radar's) and aircraft cockpits... These people have not been dying left and right from brain tumors, and if there was a substantial risk, I'd expect to have seen it by now. The evidence that non ionizing radiation, at levels that do not produce thermal effects, cause cancer or tumors is notable for its absence! (The studies claiming a link between high voltage transmission lines and cancer have been thoroughly discredited).