American Airlines Flight Attendants Say Uniforms Are Making Them Ill

Photo: Courtesy of American Airlines.
Update, 3:15 p.m.: A spokesperson for American Airlines tells Refinery29 that three lab tests on the uniforms have declared them to be "garment-safe." The third and most recent test analyzed more than 100 pieces of worn and unworn garments as well as boxes and packaging materials. Airline spokesperson LaKesha Brown added that American Airlines is working on an individual basis with employees, offering them dermatological testing and providing alternatives to the new "wool-rich" uniform, including the option to wear old uniforms or purchase other garments. Brown added that more than 70,000 American Airlines employees, including pilots and other crew members, have received the new uniforms. At this time, only the APFA has called for a recall. Next week, the airline and APFA will visit the manufacturer's warehouse to jointly select more uniforms for testing. This article was originally published on December 3 at 2:15 p.m. EST.

reports that American Airlines flight attendants are claiming that the airline's new uniforms are responsible for a slew of health problems. On Friday, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) issued a statement demanding that the uniforms be recalled. "We feel a remedy that excludes a full recall of the uniform fails to adequately protect our members," the union, which represents 26,000 American flight attendants, stated. Since they were introduced in September, the uniforms have been blamed for more than 1,600 adverse health reactions. Cabin crew has complained of headaches, rashes, burning skin, eye irritation, and respiratory problems. The airline is continuing to test the uniforms, but isn't ready to issue a recall yet. Instead, the Dallas-based company has offered dermatological testing to pinpoint the cause of the reactions. Employees may also request alternative fabrics, though the union claims that the manufacturing, not the materials, may be at fault, which would render that option moot. "We know some people are having reactions and we're looking into why," a spokesperson for American Airlines told CNN. "We have no doubt the uniforms are safe."

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