Environmental Concerns

Environmental concerns and Best Practices regarding airliners and airports are similar to those for any large institution such as a hospital but with a lesser degree of intensity unless there is an outbreak of a communicable disease. The typical airliner may contain from fifty to hundreds of people in a confined environment and therefore the same types of hazards exist as in any other type of confined environment with numerous people except the traveling public comes from a vast variety of areas and brings with them the viruses and other microorganisms that they have been exposed to at their point of departure and where they live. The airports at Chicago and Atlanta average about 250,000 people a day. That’s the size of a medium city in the United States. The airports have all of the support services that a city would normally have and also all of the potential problems. The environmental problems range from indoor air quality to environmental and occupational injuries to food security and protection to health care and infection control to insect and rodent control and use of pesticides to sewage disposal systems, solid waste, hazardous waste, water systems, noise, and on and on. If you read Chapter 8, “Healthcare Environment and Infection Control” and modify it for the concerns of the airport environment you will gain considerable knowledge on how best to prevent and mitigate environmental health, safety, and personal health problems.

Air Pollutants Released by Aircraft

Aircraft engines emit small amounts of nitrogen oxides, organic gases, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur gases, particulate matter including metals, and unburnt hydrocarbons. (See endnote 28.) Follow new standards adopted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for nitrogen oxide emissions from aircraft gas turbine engines. (See endnote 29.) New standards are also expected in the future for greenhouse gases, etc., from the US EPA.

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