Pregnancy and in-flight cosmic radiation

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1998 Nov;69(11):1061-4.


Cosmic radiation is an occupational hazard to commercial and military flight crews. Aside from the direct risk to aviators, this ionizing radiation is a hazard to the fetuses of pregnant crewmembers and passengers. Animal studies of low dose ionizing radiation exposures, and human studies following high (lose exposures, suggest that pregnant avia tors may inadvertently subject their fetuses to a risk of decreased cognitive capacity or frank mental retardation, as well as childhood leukemia. Flight attendants sometimes unknowingly exceed recommended maximum cosmic radiation doses to their fetuses, raising social, ethical, and legal issues.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aerospace Medicine*
  • Cosmic Radiation / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Fetus / radiation effects*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Radiation-Induced / etiology
  • Maximum Allowable Concentration
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy / radiation effects*
  • Radiation Protection / methods
  • Radiation Protection / standards
  • Risk Factors