Peanuts on Airplanes - Yes or No?
Posted by Shifrah on Friday, June 25, 2010
Peanuts may be banned on airplanes to care for allergic individuals.It's an almost classic combination – that little bag of peanut snacks you munch on while in the air. But for many, a growing number in fact, peanuts are deadly, and some wonder whether they should be allowed in the confined space of an airplane.

Recently, as CNN reports in a story called Should Peanuts be Banned from Planes?, the U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed banning peanuts from flights as part of their overall effort to improve air travel.

The rationale is as follows: "The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination by U.S. and foreign air carriers against individuals with disabilities. Airline passengers with severe allergies to peanuts have a qualifying disability."

The proposal includes four options regarding peanuts on planes: banning them altogether, offering peanut-free flights when requested in advance, having a peanut-free zone on the plane, or doing nothing.

While peanut allergies affect only about 1 percent of the population, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the allergy is the leading cause of fatal and near-fatal food-allergic reactions. And while ingestion is of course the most dangerous type of exposure, highly sensitive individuals can experience a reaction while merely in the presence of the peanut protein. In such a case, the close quarters and circulated air of air travel could pose a real danger – and a "peanut-free zone" would be mostly ineffective.

Some with peanut allergies or peanut allergic children won't risk flying at, while others balk at the idea of "having to bend [their lives] for everyone else's issues."

What are your thoughts?

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