Sun, Oct 11, 2009
Advocacy Group Disappointed in Latest EPA Guidelines For
Providing Safe Drinking Water On Airplanes
Flyersrights.org, a national advocacy group for airline
passengers in the United States, has gone on record as stating that
last week's finalized EPA guidelines regarding airline drinking
water are insufficient, and basically allow the airlines to operate
as they please without regard to passenger health and safety.
The new EPA guidelines, which are based on a 2004 study in which
15% of airliners tested positive for coliform, call for mandatory
testing every five years. In addition, the EPA is only required to
do random inspections on airplane water systems and the new rules
don't commence for another 18 months.
Kate Hanni, founder and president of Flyersrights.org does not
think the new rules adequately address passenger health
"Testing water every five years for coliform is simply
unacceptable. The flying public trusts the airlines to provide it
with basic needs such as potable, hygienic water -- and the
airlines are failing the task. Now the government has attempted to
regulate, yet has clearly bowed down to the airlines with extremely
lax new rules that do not address the issue. Our recommendation to
passengers is that they do not drink water on board an airplane
unless it is bottled, do not brush teeth with bathroom tap water
and disinfect further after washing hands in airplane bathrooms,"
Paul Ziots, a passenger who was stranded on the tarmac in Austin
in 2006 for almost nine hours, knows the dangers of airplane tap
water all too well.
"All we had on board the aircraft was tap water. I became ill
with intestinal problems, and had to put myself up for two nights
in an airport hotel, at my own expense, before aborting my trip and
flying home," he states.
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