This is the title of a paper which very much says what it is, and I quote: “The authors conducted a historical cohort study among cabin attendants who had been employed by two German airlines in 1953 or later. Mortality follow-up was completed through December 31, 1997…. “The cohort included 16,014 women and 4,537 men (approximately 250,000 person-years of follow-up).” It can be safely assumed that they were exposed to large levels of second hand smoke (SHS). First let’s look at the lung cancer numbers.
“We found a rather remarkably low SMR for lung cancer among female cabin attendants and no increase for male cabin attendants, indicating that smoking and exposure to passive smoking may not play an important role in mortality in this group. Smoking during airplane flights was permitted in Germany until the mid-1990s, and smoking is still not banned on all charter flights.”
Funding was from these tobacco lackeys: “This work was partially supported by grants from the Berufsgenossenschaft für Fahrzeughaltungen, Lufthansa German Airlines, LTU International Airlines, the trade unions Deutsche Angestellten-Gewerkschaft and Gewerkschaft Öffentliche Dienste, Transport, und Verkehr, the German Academy for Aviation Medicine, and the Unabhängige Flugbegleiter Organisation.
The full abstract reads. Over to Rollo in the studio.
Airline cabin attendants are exposed to several potential occupational hazards, including cosmic radiation. Little is known about the mortality pattern and cancer risk of these persons. The authors conducted a historical cohort study among cabin attendants who had been employed by two German airlines in 1953 or later. Mortality follow-up was completed through December 31, 1997. The authors computed standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for specific causes of death using German population rates. The effect of duration of employment was evaluated with Poisson regression. The cohort included 16,014 women and 4,537 men (approximately 250,000 person-years of follow-up). Among women, the total number of deaths (n = 141) was lower than expected (SMR = 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.67, 0.94). The SMR for all cancers (n = 44) was 0.79 (95% CI: 0.54, 1.17), and the SMR for breast cancer (n = 19) was 1.28 (95% CI: 0.72, 2.20). The SMR did not increase with duration of employment. Among men, 170 deaths were observed (SMR = 1.10, 95% CI: 0.94, 1.28). The SMR for all cancers (n = 21) was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.41, 1.18). The authors found a high number of deaths from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (SMR = 40; 95% CI: 28.9, 55.8) and from aircraft accidents among the men. In this cohort, ionizing radiation probably contributed less to the small excess in breast cancer mortality than reproductive risk factors. Occupational causes seem not to contribute strongly to the mortality of airline cabin attendants.”