Can your clothes make you sick? These airline employees think so
Most of us have dealt with a bad dress code or two, but it turns out things could be a lot worse. The flight attendants’ union for American Airline says their uniforms are making them sick and that they all be recalled. It’s not yet clear what, if anything, is behind the reactions flight attendants are experiencing. We’d venture a guess that it’s trickier to resolve than a bedbug infestation in your wardrobe.
We can imagine plenty of things that might be on a flight attendant’s uniform wish list — like more pockets, more comfortable shoes or more gender-neutral options. After all, the new designs rolled out in September were the airline’s first uniform change in over 30 years. (Psst — we’re also digging these vintage designs from the SFO’s Fashion in Flight exhibit.)
But the rashes, headaches and other scary reactions reported by American’s flight crews are definitely not so desirable. While the union is demanding a full recall, American Airlines is still trying to figure out why the new wool uniforms are making employees sick.
Obviously we don’t have any clues or advice, but we hope American gets to the bottom of it soon. It’s not easy being a flight attendant at the best of times. They’re dealing with creepy passengers, making sure you get the right meal, and keeping everyone safe at 30,000 feet. Hives and headaches that could be coming from their required outfit don’t make keeping a smile on their faces in the air any easier.
And you can’t exactly call in sick when you’re stuck halfway across the country. Or worse, halfway around the world.
Until the issue gets resolved, American Airlines is allowing some employees to wear their old uniforms. It’s a good first step, at least. They’re also looking into remaking the new designs with a different fabric. Until then, if you’re flying American Airlines, try to be extra nice to your flight attendant — and maybe bring them some coconut oil or cortisone.