Plane air doesn’t make you sick

Originally published here: https://mcgill.ca/oss/article/did-you-know-health/plane-air-doesnt-make-you-sick

It’s time to put to rest the idea that plane air will make you sick. While the thought makes sense, as the air on a plane is indeed recycled, and the many passengers are spreading their germs into it, this misconception forgets one major part of plane’s ventilation system- HEPA filters. These filters are the same ones trusted to keep hospital surgical units clean, and plane air is re-circulated, and therefore re-filtered 20-30 times per hour. It’s also important to remember that only about 50% of air on a plane is recycled. The other half comes from outside, and enters the plane through the engine compressors. The true risk of getting sick on a plane comes from the close proximity to other people that flyers find themselves in while airborne. This risk, however, is the same as what one may in a lecture, at a party or on the bus.

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