The FAA’s updated Advisory Circular AC 120-61B provides information to help air carriers augment–but not alter or amend–existing programs to inform crew members about radiation exposure. The AC explains the differences between the natural sources of radiation in the atmosphere as well as the average annual exposure a human experiences from those sources.
Commercial pilots are at a higher risk than the general public of developing cataracts because of exposure to cosmic rays while aloft, a study concluded. The Wall Street Journal reported that researchers at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik found that pilots had “triple the risk of developing” the eye ailment. Cataracts, which can be removed surgically, cloud the eye’s lens and cause blindness.