Allergies risk may force airlines to ban peanuts


Airlines may soon be forced to ban peanuts on their flights due to passengers who may have a severe allergy. The ban is not in the hands of the airline operators but instead federal regulators will make the decision. Proponents for the ban say the 1.8 million Americans, who have a peanut allergy will feel safer and more comfortable without the fear of suffering a serious allergic reaction while in the air.

Peanut growers think otherwise. Peanuts are considered a staple on flights and the move to ban them would dramatically affect their business. The 84 page document was submitted for review and includes three options. The first would be to ban peanuts from all flights, period. The second, is to ban peanuts on a flight when a passenger requests it. Lastly, design a peanut free zone on all airplanes where those with allergies could sit and not worry about coming into contact with peanut dust. The U.S. Transportation Department is open to suggestions about how this delicate matter can be best handled for all parties.

The ban has been proposed because of the severe reactions that many peanut allergy sufferers can have. Anaphylactic shock or death is possible in some rare cases. People with children usually avoid flying because of the danger of peanut dust floating in the air when several bags are opened. Close quarters and recycled air make it a lethal combination for some allergy sufferers. The ban may be a disaster for peanut growers, but may potentially increase the client base for airlines.