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Flying Radiation Risk

The Invisible Passenger: Radiation Risks for People Who Fly

By Dr. Robert J. Barish

Radiation exposure while flying is an issue most of us never think about. Until now, there is no information on this topic available to flight crew members, corporate flyers, or any other member of the general public - the people who most need to know.

In 1992 the FAA acknowledged that pilots and flight attendants may receive more radiation annually than the average radiation worker - perhaps twice as much. Airlines were directed to educate their crew members about their radiation risk. This is the first book to address this issue.

Should you worry?

Did you know?

  • Your radiation exposure doubles with every 6,500 feet of altitude
  • Solar flares can increase your radiation exposure 10 top to 20 times
  • Pilot cancer rates for four major cancers are high - in some cases much higher than average
  • Pregnant women should be particularly concerned about radiation levels on airplanes
  • Radiation levels in a jetliner are occasionally so high that in a nuclear power plant these levels would require signs warning employees not to spend any more time in the area than necessary to do their jobs.

Contents Include:

  • Definitions
  • Background Radiation
  • Radiation Protection Standards and Regulations
  • The Low-Dose Radiation Controversy
  • Radiation and the In-Flight Environment
  • In-Flight Exposures: Types of Risks
  • Tracking Solar Flares
  • Measuring, Recording, and Estimating Radiation Dose
  • Radioactive Packages and Irradiated Food
  • Recent Developments and Summary
  • Appendix A. Fundamentals of Radiation and Matter
  • Appendix B. Biological Interactions of Radiation

About the Author:

Robert J. Barish is a medical physicist specializing in radiation for cancer treatment, and an acknowledged expert on the issue of in-flight radiation.