Clothing that kills: flight attendants are massively complain about health because of the new uniforms

Damage to the skin. Fatigue. Migraine. Hair loss. According to flight attendants, are just a few symptoms caused by a new form of flight attendants of Delta.

Одежда, которая убивает: стюардессы массово жалуются на здоровье из-за новой униформы

Photo: Depositphotos

According to injured workers, the new uniform is not only purple tops and gray pants, but toxic and chemical substances that cause a number of health problems in flight attendants of the airline, writes Business Insider.

Health complaints made last Delta airlines, where employees suffer from a number of symptoms are tied to their uniforms.

Flight attendants with Alaska Airlines in 2012 filed a similar complaint, and American Airlines began to complain of similar health problems in 2016.

Flight attendants of both airlines said they faced pressure from their employers when they reported problems. In some cases, requests for sick leave and requests to be of different shape were dismissed and some employees said they were threatened with job.

Since then, both airlines have taken steps to address this problem.

Delta, which has the largest group of non-uniform flight attendants in the United States, ambiguously handles the monotonous complaints, I think some of the staff, and, in their opinion, unfair. Concern about the uniform and the solution of health problems of the airline helped to organize campaign among the employees of Delta, working with the Association of flight attendants (AFA), which represents flight attendants at 20 airlines.

AFA stated that it would be to collect and test the homogeneous part, to try to definitively answer that causes health problems.

But despite the fact that this issue is Central to campaign for labor relations, flight attendants are faced with 18 months of mysterious diseases.

The symptoms are so severe that some flight attendants may not work

Delta moved to its final form, was developed by Zac Posen with Lands ‘End in 2018.

Soon after that, some flight attendants began to notice strange symptoms — mostly women but also some of the stewards were men.

“It all started with small spots,” said one of the flight attendants who had serious problems with the skin, presumably caused by the chemicals in a new form.

“I just didn’t know what it was. The last thing you might suspect is a uniform,” he added.

According to stewardesses, which told Business Insider on condition of confidentiality, skin rash, continued to worsen, and she noticed that after work she got worse. Several times sought emergency treatment during physical examinations in different cities, wondering if it was allergies or maybe she encountered bed bugs in the hotel.

In the end, she agreed to meet with a dermatologist in Atlanta where she is. Immediately he said that the hives look as if they are caused by exposure to toxins. The doctor is faced with a similar, when examined and treated the two flight attendants of other airlines. Suspicion fell on the uniform.

Another flight attendant said she immediately suspected the form.

“I’ve got it pretty quickly,” she said.

Instead of the rash she developed a migraine, which she said she had never experienced, and symptoms similar to the flu, including extreme fatigue.

“Everything has deteriorated to such an extent that I had to take sick leave. I’m so scared,” she said.

First, the woman suspected that the main culprit was the apron, unnaturally hard and the subject of many early complaints.

When she told her Manager about my concerns, the Manager said the airline is working to “make the apron more comfortable”, waving away the health problems.

She stopped wearing her apron, but her health problems didn’t disappear.

Another employee said she started noticing symptoms about a month after wearing a new form.

“I started having breathing problems, runny nose, very dry cough,” she said.

She complained and got a uniform from a different cloth, but the symptoms worsened, she said. “By the end of the trip with this uniform I would get a rash and I was sick with a fever and kidney infection,” says the woman.

Other employees had experienced various symptoms such as hair loss, sinus and breathing problems, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, dizziness, increased anxiety, a weakened immune system and hormonal changes.

Several flight attendants have heard rumors that some nursing mothers noticed the purple tint in their breast milk, although Business Insider was not able to talk to those who are faced with this.

Inconsistent response

The fact that there was no single approach or communication by the company or the Union, has led to rampant rumors among the community of flight attendants that spreads through groups in social networks and in the galleys during flights — this despite the reputation of the airlines, which often promotes openness and transparency.

The flight attendant, confronted with a rash, said that everyone she spoke — from her head to upper management — was dismissive.

She was sent to the doctors, serving the airline, and was forced to undergo a “test patch” test for contact allergies, where the patient’s back put the patches containing small amounts of chemicals to see what causes a reaction. In addition, she was prescribed creams and antibiotics, for which she had to pay.

In the end, the airline offered a dress from a fabric of another type. The rash has decreased but not disappeared.

In November, the airline began to allow maintenance staff to carry heterogeneous business clothing purchased independently. After all, as in November, the media came the attention to the uniform of the airline.

Why is this happening

Judith Anderson is an industrial hygienist. For 20 years he worked in the Association of flight attendants.

Throughout her career her main concern was to work on revealing and prevention of impact of chemicals in the cockpit, focusing on such things as cleaning solutions, or vapors caused by fuel for the aircraft.

Since 2011, however, most of it deals with the study of chemical substances in uniform.

In the past decade, the airline has released a new form of clothing, and they often worked with designers and producers on the creation of clothing that was well worn and could stand up to the requirements of the workplaces of the staff.

Often this requires processing of various dyes and chemicals. According to Anderson, products that are shipped from factories abroad, with low standards of quality control, which leads to inconsistent application of chemicals which, unlike dyes, are usually invisible.

“Some chemicals that were detected in the clothes of the crew, were heavy metals such as Nickel and chromium, as well as irritating and Allergy-inducing dyestuffs,” she said.

What health problems do not manifest themselves consistently, also makes it difficult to identify the reasons and the belief of the airlines to act.

In search of definitive answers

Laboratory analysis at the request of the airline have not found “any chemicals”.

The Union asked the Delta flight attendants to send for testing new, unused and Packed clothes. Anderson said that, as soon as she gets her sent to a special laboratory to begin testing.

From there they will look for other chemicals, including those found in the uniforms of other airlines, and any others that are associated with health problems.

“It is very difficult to try to de designing all the fabrics, to collect data about the symptoms that record people, and then figure out what you should look for because clothing added thousands of chemical substances,” she said.

Meanwhile, Delta offers flight attendants reimbursable allowance for the purchase of another uniform. It is unclear if the airline additional health care costs for the affected employees.

In its statement, Delta said that it was aiming to offer an alternative uniform options.

Lands ‘End declined to comment, citing the ongoing litigation.