Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Cabin air quality on commercial airlines - the missing key to arriving relaxed!

Cabin air quality on commercial airlines - the missing key to arriving relaxed!

Old Jun 22, 17, 8:58 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 31
Cabin air quality on commercial airlines - the missing key to arriving relaxed!

I just flew from Auckland to Hong Kong with most of the journey wearing a organics filtering mask. I had a few funny looks but it definitely made a difference. It's been as useful to me as using hand sanitiser.

I think the reason flights are exhausting are carbon monoxide and leaks. The effects have been similar to visiting polluted cities. From anecdotal experience it feels like it's gaseous and not PM2.5.

To test in cabin air quality you could use this:
https://sensorcon.com/products/senso...ant=4193486724
or
...I didn't find an alternative but it would be nice to add something here so it doens't feel like such an advert.

To get up to speed on the subject:
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-32786537
jago25_98 is offline  
Old Jun 22, 17, 9:42 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 8,073
Air quality definitely makes a huge difference.

Were you on CX? If so the A350 they run on that route makes a big difference too (a 787 would make a big difference too but don't believe it's being run by anyone on AKL - HKG).
Duke787 is offline  
Old Jun 22, 17, 10:01 am
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pittsburgh
Programs: MR/SPG LT Titanium, AA LT PLT, UA SLV, Avis PreferredPlus
Posts: 27,901
Originally Posted by jago25_98 View Post
To test in cabin air quality you could use this:
https://sensorcon.com/products/senso...ant=4193486724
Carbon Monoxide sensor
CO detector
Gas sensor
gas detector
Real Tricorder
Wireless sensor
Bluetooth sensor
Networked Sensor
Environmental sensor
Temperature Sensor
Infrared temperature sensor
IR temperature sensor
So a BT CO&temp sensor, spelled out 12 different ways?
CPRich is online now  
Old Jun 22, 17, 3:11 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: RNO
Programs: AA/DL/WN/ex-UA elite
Posts: 7,947
Wouldn't it be easier to just bring a tank of oxygen on board? Set it on low and you'll feel great.
Kevin AA is offline  
Old Jun 22, 17, 4:47 pm
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,202
Originally Posted by jago25_98 View Post
It's been as useful to me as using hand sanitiser.
I'm not sure I'd use this as a solid frame of reference. Unless you're licking the tray tables or IFE controller the sanitizer thing is unlikely to have much impact on your health.
Originally Posted by jago25_98 View Post
I think the reason flights are exhausting are carbon monoxide and leaks.
Nah...it is lower oxygen partial pressure because the plane is only pressurized typically to 8,000 feet elevation. The newer aircraft (787/A350, A380 to a lesser extent) have a lower altitude equivalent which gets you higher oxygen levels.

If you think a mask helps then go for it. But I'll bet that's psychosomatic, not real.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Jun 22, 17, 5:37 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9
Mask??

Wait. The mask removes CO2?? That is impressive. The right kind of mask, properly fitted, could protect from airborne infectious agents and particles (dust) but CO2?

Everyone should be using hand sanitizers frequently. It greatly reduces the risk of getting infections. Also a good idea to bring disinfecting wipes and wipe down the surfaces you will be touching when you get on board. That can reduce the need for sanitizers.
dbhdbh is offline  
Old Jun 22, 17, 5:59 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 8,073
Originally Posted by dbhdbh View Post
Everyone should be using hand sanitizers frequently. It greatly reduces the risk of getting infections. Also a good idea to bring disinfecting wipes and wipe down the surfaces you will be touching when you get on board. That can reduce the need for sanitizers.
I would be very wary of the bolded. Hand sanitizers kill the good bacteria along with the bad which can be far from ideal when in a metal tube surrounded by lots of people not to mention the potential long-term issues with using sanitizers. I do agree the disinfecting wipes are a smart move

Soap and water remain the best option to this day.
Duke787 is offline  
Old Jun 22, 17, 10:53 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Somewhere in Florida
Posts: 2,114
Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
I would be very wary of the bolded. Hand sanitizers kill the good bacteria along with the bad which can be far from ideal when in a metal tube surrounded by lots of people not to mention the potential long-term issues with using sanitizers. I do agree the disinfecting wipes are a smart move

Soap and water remain the best option to this day.
This x2!!! Hand sanitizers really need to be taken off the market. In practical usage, they're useless against preventing illness. At worst, they leave only the resistant bacteria behind. It infuriates me when I see them used in hospitals by staff instead of properly washing their hands. No wonder C.Diff and other resistant bacteria are rampant.
KRSW is offline  
Old Jun 23, 17, 2:05 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 8,008
I arrive relaxed by not worrying about unproven claims in a news article. Chuckling at the people with hand sanitiser also helps me relax.
ft101 is offline  
Old Jun 23, 17, 5:55 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 277
your mask and CO

the mask does not filter CO / CO2 though right?
frobozzelectric is offline  
Old Jun 23, 17, 6:15 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SF CA USA. I love large faceless corporations. And they cherish me in return (sometimes). ;)
Programs: UA Premier Gold/disappointed 1MM, HH Gold, IHG Plat, MB Gold, BW Diam Sel
Posts: 16,737
Originally Posted by KRSW View Post
This x2!!! Hand sanitizers really need to be taken off the market. In practical usage, they're useless against preventing illness. At worst, they leave only the resistant bacteria behind. It infuriates me when I see them used in hospitals by staff instead of properly washing their hands. No wonder C.Diff and other resistant bacteria are rampant.
Hand sanitizers use alcohol as their active ingredient. AFAIK, no bacteria are "resistant" to alcohol.

Perhaps people are confusing hand sanitizer with antibacterial soap, which uses ingredients such as triclosan. There are legitimate reasons NOT to use antibacterial soap.
KathyWdrf is offline  
Old Jun 23, 17, 9:07 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Somewhere in Florida
Posts: 2,114
Originally Posted by KathyWdrf View Post
Hand sanitizers use alcohol as their active ingredient. AFAIK, no bacteria are "resistant" to alcohol.
Any sporulating bacteria (Gram-positive bacteria such as Bacillus and Clostridium) are immune to alcohol, often ozone, and bleach. Of special note, Clostridium difficile, which is a terribly unpleasant thing... I speak from personal experience on this one.

Additionally, many bacteria have slime layers (yes, that's the real scientific term) and capsules which protect the bacterial cells from outside chemicals. Unless you're able to strip off the outer layer, what goes on outside the bacterial cell isn't going to bother it.

Just a few examples off the top of my head which might be familiar to most people:

Escherichia coli (food poisoning)
Haemophilus influenzae (ear, eye, upper respiratory infections)
Klebsiella pneumoniae (pneumonia)
Neisseria meningitidis (meningitis)
Salmonella (food poisoning)
Staphylococcus epidermidis (harmless inhabitant of your skin, but very problematic when dealing with implants and catheters)
Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia)
Streptococcus pyogenes (sore throats)

We're talking medical stuff, so we can be honest about bodily things, right?

Think of it this way: Let's say you manage to get feces on your hand. You can rub all of the hand sanitizer on your hand, but there's still feces on your hand until you physically wash it off with soap and water. Yet, this is exactly what doctors and nurses do in the USA as they go from patient to patient.

Making matters worse, alcohol may indeed inactivate a particular bacterial strain, but often it requires a contact time of minutes to over an hour for this to occur, which isn't going to happen with how quickly hand sanitizers evaporate.

Stick with soap & water. Your body (and fellow seatmates) will appreciate it!
KRSW is offline  
Old Jun 23, 17, 10:11 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9
Originally Posted by KRSW View Post
This x2!!! Hand sanitizers really need to be taken off the market. In practical usage, they're useless against preventing illness. At worst, they leave only the resistant bacteria behind. It infuriates me when I see them used in hospitals by staff instead of properly washing their hands. No wonder C.Diff and other resistant bacteria are rampant.
There are many careful studies in the medical literature demonstrating that hand sanitizers are highly effective in reducing infections. In fact, the recommendations from the CDC and the entire infectious disease community are exactly to favor hand sanitizers over soap and water for infection control. They recommend soap and water only when the hands are visibly soiled. Otherwise- hand sanitizers. That is why you see the dispensers all over the place in medical facilities. If you have data saying that all the infectious disease experts are wrong and that all the studies have been misinterpreted then you owe it to the world to publish your research. If you are simply not familiar with the evidence base for the recommendations then you may want to read up on the subject.
dbhdbh is offline  
Old Jun 23, 17, 10:43 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9
Back in the office, so I thought I would provide the evidence to back up what I said above.

The Centers for Disease Control published a comprehensive review of hand hygeine as part of recommendations for infection control.

"Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings
Recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices
Advisory Committee and the HICPAC/SHEA/APIC/IDSA
Hand Hygiene Task Force"

You can find this document at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr5116.pdf.

It is a long, detailed, scientific review, but written in plain English so you do not have to be an infectious disease expert to read it.

I include below several quotes that are the most on point to this discussion, but anyone who is interested might do well to read the whole thing and review as many of the 423 scientific references cited as their patience permits.


Alcohol-based products are more effective for standard handwashing or hand antisepsis by HCWs than soap or antimicrobial soaps (Table 3) (25,53,61,93,106--112,119,143--152). In all but two of the trials that compared alcohol-based solutions with antimicrobial soaps or detergents, alcohol reduced bacterial counts on hands more than washing hands with soaps or detergents containing hexachlorophene, povidone-iodine, 4% chlorhexidine, or triclosan. In studies examining antimicrobial-resistant organisms, alcohol-based products reduced the number of multidrug-resistant pathogens recovered from the hands of HCWs more effectively than did handwashing with soap and water (153--155).
The antimicrobial activity of alcohols can be attributed to their ability to denature proteins (120). Alcohol solutions containing 60%--95% alcohol are most effective, and higher concentrations are less potent (120--122) because proteins are not denatured easily in the absence of water (120). The alcohol content of solutions may be expressed as percent by weight (w/w), which is not affected by temperature or other variables, or as percent by volume (vol/vol), which can be affected by temperature, specific gravity, and reaction concentration (123). For example, 70% alcohol by weight is equivalent to 76.8% by volume if prepared at 15șC, or 80.5% if prepared at 25șC (123). Alcohol concentrations in antiseptic hand rubs are often expressed as percent by volume (19).

Alcohols have excellent in vitro germicidal activity against gram-positive and gram-negative vegetative bacteria, including multidrug-resistant pathogens (e.g., MRSA and VRE), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and various fungi (120--122,124--129). Certain enveloped (lipophilic) viruses (e.g., herpes simplex virus, human immunodeficiency virus [HIV], influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and vaccinia virus) are susceptible to alcohols when tested in vitro (120,130,131) (Table 1). Hepatitis B virus is an enveloped virus that is somewhat less susceptible but is killed by 60%--70% alcohol; hepatitis C virus also is likely killed by this percentage of alcohol (132). In a porcine tissue carrier model used to study antiseptic activity, 70% ethanol and 70% isopropanol were found to reduce titers of an enveloped bacteriophage more effectively than an antimicrobial soap containing 4% chlorhexidine gluconate (133). Despite its effectiveness against these organisms, alcohols have very poor activity against bacterial spores, protozoan oocysts, and certain nonenveloped (nonlipophilic) viruses.
Alcohols, when used in concentrations present in alcohol-based hand rubs, also have in vivo activity against several nonenveloped viruses (Table 2). For example, 70% isopropanol and 70% ethanol are more effective than medicated soap or nonmedicated soap in reducing rotavirus titers on fingerpads (137,138). A more recent study using the same test methods evaluated a commercially available product containing 60% ethanol and found that the product reduced the infectivity titers of three nonenveloped viruses (i.e., rotavirus, adenovirus, and rhinovirus) by >3 logs (81). Other nonenveloped viruses such as hepatitis A and enteroviruses (e.g., poliovirus) may require 70%--80% alcohol to be reliably inactivated (82,139). However, both 70% ethanol and a 62% ethanol foam product with emollients reduced hepatitis A virus titers on whole hands or fingertips more than nonmedicated soap; both were equally as effective as antimicrobial soap containing 4% chlorhexidine gluconate in reducing reduced viral counts on hands (140). In the same study, both 70% ethanol and the 62% ethanol foam product demonstrated greater virucidal activity against poliovirus than either non-antimicrobial soap or a 4% chlorhexidine gluconate-containing soap (140). However, depending on the alcohol concentration, the amount of time that hands are exposed to the alcohol, and viral variant, alcohol may not be effective against hepatitis A and other nonlipophilic viruses. The inactivation of nonenveloped viruses is influenced by temperature, disinfectant-virus volume ratio, and protein load (141). Ethanol has greater activity against viruses than isopropanol. Further in vitro and in vivo studies of both alcohol-based formulations and antimicrobial soaps are warranted to establish the minimal level of virucidal activity that is required to interrupt direct contact transmission of viruses in health-care settings.

Alcohols are not appropriate for use when hands are visibly dirty or contaminated with proteinaceous materials. However, when relatively small amounts of proteinaceous material (e.g., blood) are present, ethanol and isopropanol may reduce viable bacterial counts on hands more than plain soap or antimicrobial soap (142).

Alcohol can prevent the transfer of health-care--associated pathogens (25,63,64). In one study, gram-negative bacilli were transferred from a colonized patient's skin to a piece of catheter material via the hands of nurses in only 17% of experiments after antiseptic hand rub with an alcohol-based hand rinse (25). In contrast, transfer of the organisms occurred in 92% of experiments after handwashing with plain soap and water. This experimental model indicates that when the hands of HCWs are heavily contaminated, an antiseptic hand rub using an alcohol-based rinse can prevent pathogen transmission more effectively than can handwashing with plain soap and water.
dbhdbh is offline  
Old Jun 23, 17, 11:07 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9
More from the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/science/index.html

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers kill the good and bad germs, but the good germs quickly come back on your hands.
An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the preferred method for cleaning your hands when they are not visibly dirty because it:

Is more effective at killing potentially deadly germs on hands than soap
Requires less time
Is more accessible than handwashing sinks
Produces reduced bacterial counts on hands, and
Improves skin condition with less irritation and dryness than soap and water
Clostridium difficile is a common healthcare-associated infection that causes severe diarrhea.
C. difficile forms spores that are not killed by an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
The spores can be transferred to patients via the hands of healthcare providers who have touched a contaminated surface or item.
If you have a C. difficile infection, make sure your healthcare providers wear gloves when examining you.
The most important way that you can prevent the spread of C. difficile is by washing your hands with soap and water after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.
The antimicrobial activity of alcohols can be attributed to their ability to denature proteins. They kill germs quickly and in a different way than antibiotics.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60%-95% alcohol are most effective at denaturing proteins.
There is no chance for the germs to adapt or develop resistance.
dbhdbh is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: