Liquid ban may pose health risks - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Liquid ban may pose health risks

August 13, 2006

Albany -- Airline officials say restrictions of liquids and gels on flights are getting through to the air travelers. But the ban on liquids has concerned some who say there may be health risks involved. Local doctors urge people to be careful.

Natasha Nail isn't a frequent flier and says she's feeling a little nervous about boarding the plane today with airlines on heightened alert.

"I want to be safe, so whatever they have to do, they need to do, because I don't want to have the risk of somebody coming on there, and you know," said Natasha Nail.

Nail was a little suprised she couldn't even take her lip gloss on board, but says she'll deal if it makes everyone safer.

The air travel restrictions went into effect Thursday, banning passengers from bringing any liquids or gels in their carry-ons. TSA allows for only essential presciption or non-prescription medicines such as insulin, baby formula or breast milk.

Medical doctor Joel Holcombe is a regular traveler overseas on mission trips, so he knows how long flights can be. He says that there are certain health risks for some people if they can't bring a drink, like a bottled water on board.

"When you're traveling it's recommended that you drink four to eight ounces of fluids every hour that you're in the air. If you're traveling between long distances and time zones, you can get jet lag, getting dehydrated makes that jet lag even worse," said Dr. Joel Holcombe.

Dr. Holcombe says that while dehydration isn't always life-threatening, it's important for some more than others to have enough to drink.

"People that are diebetics that their sugar could go up, they're going to need more water replacement because they'll be going to the bathroom more often than your average person would," said Dr. Holcombe.

Others who may be affected are passengers with a fever or those with heart or kidney diseases.

Air traveler Natasha Nail may not suffer from any health conditions,but says the liquid ban must make other people uncomfortable.

"As long as it's sealed, if everything still has the manufacturers seal on it, or if it's not been opened, why not?" wondered Nail.

While passengers can't bring their personal liquid conveniences on board, airlines have drinks and medical supplies on hand, so passengers won't be completely high and dry on flights.

Dr. Holcombe recommends to those who are flying to avoid caffine drinks or alcohol prior to flying because they are beverages that an contribute to dehydration.

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