NASA research shows pilots exposure to radiation

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP October 28, 2013 14:40

NASA research shows pilots exposure to radiation

NASA has revealed that airline pilots absorb approximately as much radiation over the course of a year as a nuclear power plant employee, leading them to be classified as “occupational radiation workers” by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

NASA said that during a typical polar flight from Chicago to Beijing, pilots are exposed to roughly as much radiation as if they had received a pair of chest x-rays. Over the course of their career, this can increase their risk of developing cataracts or even cancer – and passengers could also be similarly affected.

“A 100,000 mile frequent flyer gets about 20 chest x-rays,” no matter what the latitude of those flights are, explained Chris Mertens, a senior research scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center. Of course, even non-flyers absorb some radiation from space weather, as cosmic rays and their by-products can reach Earth’s surface and expose people at sea level to levels equal to receiving one chest x-ray approximately every 10 days.

Flying on an airplane can increase the amount of radiation exposure 10-fold or more, NASA said. “To help airline companies safeguard passengers and personnel, NASA is developing an experimental tool to predict exposures in real time,” the space agency said. The project, which is being headed up by Mertens, has been dubbed NAIRAS or “Nowcast of Atmosphere Ionizing Radiation for Aviation Safety.”

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP October 28, 2013 14:40
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