Vliegend personeel niet geschaad door omgevingsrook

Een team van de Universiteit van Bielefeld heeft onderzoek gedaan naar de extra risico’s die het cabinepersoneel bij luchtvaartmaatschappijen loopt. In de studie werd personeel, dat in de periode 1960-1997 dienst deed – toen er in Duitsland nog volop gerookt mocht worden aan boord – bekeken op diverse ziekten waaronder verschillende soorten kanker.


Het onderzoek vond geen verhoogde sterfte aan kanker door ‘Occupational factors’ als kosmische straling, wijziging in tijdzones, pesticiden aan boord en….. omgevingsrook.


De meest verhoogde sterfte werd gevonden bij mannen. Deze liepen een rond 40 keer verhoogd risico op AIDS. (!)


Airline cabin attendants are exposed to several potential occupational hazards, including cosmic radiation.


Little is known about the mortality pattern and cancer risk of these persons. The authors conducted a historical cohort study among cabin attendants who had been employed by two German airlines in 1953 or later. Mortality  follow-up was completed through December 31, 1997. The authors computed standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for specific causes of death using German population rates. The effect of duration of employment was evaluated with Poisson regression. The cohort included 16,014 women and 4,537 men (approximately 250,000 person-years of follow-up). Among women, the total number of deaths (n = 141) was lower than expected (SMR = 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.67, 0.94). The SMR for all cancers (n = 44) was 0.79 (95% CI: 0.54, 1.17), and the SMR for breast cancer (n = 19) was 1.28 (95% CI: 0.72, 2.20). The SMR did not increase with duration of employment. Among men, 170 deaths were observed (SMR = 1.10, 95% CI: 0.94, 1.28). The SMR for all cancers (n = 21) was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.41, 1.18). The authors found a high number of deaths from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (SMR = 40; 95% CI: 28.9, 55.8) and from aircraft accidents among the men. In this cohort, ionizing radiation probably contributed less to the small excess in breast cancer mortality than reproductive risk factors. Occupational causes seem not to contribute strongly to the mortality of airline cabin attendants.


Am J Epidemiol 2002;156:556–65.


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