|MadSci Network: Environment & Ecology|
In old aircraft they used radium (a radioactive material) in the dials and gauges in the cockpit. There were a number of lawsuits in days past which claimed pilots were exposed to excess radiation from these numerous dial/gauges in the plane. The radium as used in combination with a fluorecent materail to make the dial/gauge glow in the dark. These types of radium dial/gauges are no longer used. Today the radiation exposure in an aircraft comes from cosmic radiation from outerspace which, because of the planes altitude (closer to outerspace), the flight crew (attendents as well as pilots) are exposed to more radiation than most normal occupations. Most are logging thousands of high altitude miles each year. No scientific evidence has identified any health risk to this occupation dispite the general knowleged of this known enhanced exposure to a natural source of radiation.
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