I have always been leery of the cabin air in aircraft and wondered if there was a device which could help me from other people’s germs while flying in airplanes.


As it turns out there have been products on the market that supposedly were designed to do that.
In fact, one of them was pulled off the market because it actually caught on fire while resting on the chest of users. On one occasion it nearly caused a disaster and was quickly banned.
The other was a device that fit over the air vents above each seat. It really could not protect much of the air quality given its limited coverage area.
However, as I continud to researd the topic I found good news.


Scientific studies have concluded that the environment in aircraft is actually healthier than most office buildings.
This is because of the frequency that air is circulated on airplanes compared to commercial properties. Aircraft air is circulated through hospital grade filters at least 20 times per hour compared to 12 times per hour through office building equipment.
The circulation through the aircraft filters reportedly removes 99.97 percent of bacteria and airborne particles.
In addition, approximately every seven rows there is a separate ventilation system.
So why do we still feel we catch colds and flu’s from our fellow passengers?


Just think of the things we touch that have been touched by others. Our table trays may not be sanitized after every flight segment. The arm rests on the seats are frequently hand rests as well.


How many people have been to the washroom facilities before you get there? All the surfaces we come in contact with can hold bacteria that can cause us health problems of some kind. Once again the solution comes with regular use of hand sanitizers.
As new aircraft are being developed, more research is being undertaken to make the air we breathe even fresher and free from bacteria. Experts predict that new technologies may be able to virtually destroy all bacteria and viruses effectively.
It is logical to conclude that small confined spaces would be subject to greater health risk, but it appears the aircraft developers have gone a long way to create as healthy a flying space as possible.


What I don’t know is whether the devices can be as effective on the ash laden air that may be floating around the globe over the next few months.


Nevertheless, it was gratifying to find out that the atmosphere in aircraft is much better than I thought.