Watch Out for the Water!
By Laura Quarantiello
You've heard all about airline food, but have you heard
about the water? Two Wall Street Journal reporters have
blown the lid off a little noticed health concern of airline
travel: the quality of water aboard aircraft. Samples of
water from lavatory and galley taps on 14 different airlines
flights revealed everything from E. Coli, salmonella, and
Staphylococcus to the germ that causes Legionnaire's
disease, proving that contamination is the rule, not the
exception. "Almost all of the bacteria levels were tens,
sometimes hundreds, of times above U.S. government
limits," say the authors.
Though most water served to passengers on airline flights
is bottled, sometimes the bottled water supply runs out,
especially on long flights. In a pinch, flight attendants have
been known to fill cups from the galley taps. Water for tea
is taken from the same source. Passengers who wash their
hands or faces, or brush their teeth in the lavatory are using
water from the airplane's tanks, which may be contaminated.
Water from a commercial airplane's tanks is required to meet
federal drinking water standards, and the Food and Drug
Administration has stepped in a few times to issue warnings
related to contaminated airplane water, but the problem has
generally stayed under the radar until now. But recently, the
FDA has begun a program to take samples of airline water,
and KLM Airlines has proposed that all airlines begin an
official water-quality test program.
This is small comfort to those who fly regularly and just don't
like the idea of bugs in their water. To limit your exposure to
contaminated H2O while flying, follow these tips:
- Carry your own bottled water.
- Use only bottled water to wash your hands and face, and
brush your teeth.
- Avoid cups of water served by flight attendants.
- Avoid ordering tea unless you can provide your own
- If bottled water isn't available and you forgot to bring
your own, order a soft drink, but remember that caffeine
can dehydrate you on a long flight.
© Tiare Publications
Laura Quarantiello is the author of "Air-Ways: The Insider's
Guide to Air Travel," "On Guard – How to Win the War
Against the Bad Guys," "Cyber Crime –How to Protect
Yourself from Computer Criminals" and "The Root Beer
Book - A Celebration of America's Favorite Soft Drink"
For More info please visit: http://www.tiare.com/