Home Again Home Again…

…friggity frog. (sniff)

Even though our first and last of three flights yesterday were almost an hour late lifting off the tarmac (in Rapid City and Atlanta) we got home about dark to a very very cold house that will take a couple of days to absorb heat from the wood stove and be compatible to human life without our flannel and wool space suits.

And then, we’ll look for signs of our travels–a sore throat, an achy muscle, a little fever. Hopefully, we’ll dodge that bullet having had the *WTGADC contagion that baby Taryn sneezed and snotted on us. Our immune systems will ward off the aerosolized rhinovirus from the human volcanoe three rows ahead of us. (*What They Get At Day Care)

But be careful, holiday travelers. Ann stopped me yesterday when the stewardess came by. She reminded me of this article I’d read her talking about how UNSAFE airplane water was, and on-board coffee and tea comes from their often-contaminated reserves of drinking water.

So hold your breath, hold your bladder, don’t touch anything and don’t drink anything that comes from the airplane tap. Read this–REALLY. And enjoy your trip!

The EPA advises anyone with a suppressed immune system or anyone who’s “concerned” about bacteria to refrain from drinking coffee or tea on an airplane.

“While boiling water for one minute will remove pathogens from drinking water, the water used to prepare coffee and tea aboard a plane is not generally brought to a sufficiently high temperature to guarantee that pathogens are killed,” according to the EPA’s Web site.

According to the EPA, out of 7,812 water samples taken from 2,316 aircraft, 2.8 percent were positive for coliform bacteria. Although that sounds like a small number, this means 222 samples contained coliform bacteria.

Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. The germ-o-phobe in me shuddered at this post. I can’t stand flying – there’s almost no hope of not catching something. It had never occurred to me to be afraid of the coffee or tea, though. Yikes! And good luck avoiding WTGADC, but sadly, I don’t think your chances are good…