What is Cosmic Radiation and do you know its effect on you as a cabin crew?
Cosmic radiation are showers of high energy particles, including X-rays, that constantly hit the earth and are mainly produced by exploding stars and black holes.
At ground level this normally isn’t a problem for you, but when you fly, you travel at altitudes where the atmosphere is thinner, leaving you more exposed to these cosmic rays.
Three Factors That Affect The Amount Of Exposure To Cosmic Radiation:
The higher we go, the greater the dose
The closer we get to the poles, the greater the dose.
The longer we stay in air, the greater the dose
For example, a flight from Chicago to Beijing over the polar cap is estimated to give you the same dose of radiation as two chest X-rays!
Pilots, cabin crew and astronauts are at more risk of higher doses because of the increased and more frequent exposure to cosmic rays at high altitude.
So what’s the scoop? What does this mean for your health and what is the big reason why you should care?
Well, cumulative doses of radiation can cause enough damage to cells to affect and harm their biological function and DNA. What do damaged cells often turn in to? Cancer cells.
The true health risks have been hard to demonstrate, as the cancers which Cosmic Radiation seems to be linked to are the cancers which can take up to 30 years to manifest. (Like those of the thyroid, breast, and prostate.) Just because the health risks have been hard to demonstrate, doesn’t mean they aren’t real.
Premature Aging & Memory Loss
Frequent exposure to these harmful rays can damage your skin making you look older that your real age.
Getting exposed to radiation and having less oxygen inside the plane gives you the perfect recipe for memory loss. Now you know why you’re always forgetful. 😥
Can Cosmic Radiation Affect Airplane Passengers And Crew?
Don’t let Cosmic Radiation scare you, but definitely have a proactive and preventative approach by taking care of your body.
The best way to do this is to limit the number of trips that fly near the North Pole in a month.
Take care of yourself so that you can enjoy your amazing career and all that it offers – without the long term side effects!
[Featured photo by Carolina]