A little known fact to many fliers is that certain countries require that aircraft cabins be sprayed with pesticides between flights. Most of the time the spraying is done just prior to boarding, however don’t be surprised if a flight attendant walks down the aisle waving a can of aerosol while you are already seated. While the airlines make every effort to use safe products, patrons and crews understandably bristle at the thought of pesticide exposure and health officials are looking for an alternative solution.
When the aircraft is cleaned and restocked, service doors are left open for access. Many countries are concerned about the spread of mosquito borne diseases and rightly so. Mosquitoes are natures deadliest animal to humans claiming more than one million lives annually with such maladies as Malaria, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, and now West Nile. But pesticides aren’t 100% effective and flight crews face health risks to repeated exposure in a confined space.
Health advocates for the American flight attendants union, have been working on an alternative solution to screen service doors currently being tested by the USDA. Mosquito Curtains Inc. (MCI) was chosen to devise a prototype that can accommodate a convex door frame, permit easy entry, and can be easily stowed. If testing is approved, the union will lobby “at risk” countries to adopt the curtains as an alternative to spraying.
Kurt Jordan from MCI adds, “In addition to a healthier cabin environment, we anticipate saving the airlines a substantial amount of money from lost work, medical costs and passenger complaints. We’re only sorry we couldn’t get that familiar screen door squeak and slam sound I remember so well as a child.”