Health: Danger At 40,000 Feet

Frequent flying slightly raises the odds of getting cancer

Cosmic rays were once the province of science fiction, feared only by space travelers rocketing to unknown worlds. Here on earth the danger posed by streams of subatomic particles from the sun and stars was considered insignificant. Now that assurance has been shaken, at least for those who spend much of their lives flying at high altitudes. Last week the Department of Transportation reported that radiation penetrating the thin metal skins of jetliners can pose a hazard for passengers and crews.

For the occasional traveler the danger is slight and not worth worrying about. But the Government study suggests that radiation...

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