People are wearing hazmat suits on planes, but should they? - The Spokesman-Review

By Natalie B. Compton Washington Post

Last year, supermodel Naomi Campbell made headlines when she shared a video of herself very thoroughly sanitizing her Qatar Airlines seat. There were disinfecting wipes involved, plastic gloves and a face mask.

And that was before the coronavirus pandemic. With the world battling a highly contagious global health threat, Campbell has taken her in-flight hygiene habits a step further by wearing a hazmat suit on board.

Campbell is not alone in wearing hazmat suits on planes. The behavior is becoming more common for regular air travelers, as well as airline staff. Disposable personal protective equipment suits can cost less than $20 online, but health experts aren’t advocating wearing them on planes during the pandemic.

“Wearing a hazmat suit on an airplane is unnecessary and could cause undue concern for other travelers,” Scott Pauley, a press officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Washington Post by email. “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”

Nonetheless, multiple carriers are requiring flight attendants to wear hazmat suits on planes, including Philippine Airlines, AirAsia and, most recently, Qatar Airways, CNN reported.

On May 18, Qatar Airways announced it would require members of its cabin crew to wear disposable PPE suits over their uniforms in addition to other gear