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"The cabin crew spend a large proportion of their time absorbing cosmic radiation. In fact, only astronauts spend more hours in such close proximity to the hazardous high energy particles that rain down on earth from space. And that's why - to give just one example - Finnair stewardesses are excessively susceptible to developing breast cancer, bone cancer and leukemia."
"From this Saturday, European Union countries adopt new legislation about exposure to this source of 'natural' radiation; the rules will mean that aircrew and frequent business flyers will be able to sue their employers if they are over-exposed due to too much time in the air."
"The coronal mass ejections can sustain speeds of a million miles per hour on their four-day journey to the earth. When they arrive, their radiation is powerful enough to knock out satellites and terrestrial power grids. A pilot encountering one of these bursts would probably receive his annual radiation dose in one day."
"To be safe, airlines have to put crews onto a variety of flight paths, keeping their radiation exposure down. That has cost implications: if you've invested in training someone to work on a jumbo, you don't really want them doing too many short-haul flights. British Airways, who collaborated in the study that led to the new legislation, currently use a computer program that works out the radiation doses likely to be received on each flight."
"Using the program, the company makes sure that the crews aren't consistently rostered onto high exposure flights. Pregnant cabin crew are automatically given ground duties."
-- viewer (email@example.com), May 11, 2000