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FAA quietly defuses potential airplane threat

Potential airplane threat is defused

Forget the threats aloft posed by explosives hidden in shoes and underwear. For nearly a decade, we've been flying in airliners equipped with devices that — in the privacy of the planes' bathrooms — could easily be used to spark flames capable of blowing the aircraft to smithereens. The Federal Aviation Administration recently determined that the oxygen generators installed in the lavatories — for use by passengers in the event of rapid depressurization — were, in effect, weapons waiting to happen. The agency on Feb. 10 directed U.S. airlines to disable the generators in 6,000 planes, according to an FAA statement. While the work was completed March 4, it wasn't until March 10 that the agency publicized the disarming, holding back the information so potential attackers couldn't capitalize on it before the threat was removed, the FAA said. The upshot for passengers is that, if the plane has to descend rapidly while they are attending to nature's call, no oxygen masks will deploy to help them breathe. Crew members will, however, stop by to check the bathrooms.

Sex a heart attack risk for the unfit

Sexual activity may double a person's chances of having a heart attack immediately or within two hours, Tufts University researchers report. A session of physical exercise may be even more hazardous, tripling the odds of a heart attack within two hours, the scientists said Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association after analyzing the results of 14 studies. The risks were smaller for people "with high levels of habitual physical activity," according to the report. Sex or exercise increases heart rate and blood pressure, which could contribute to a heart attack or death, said Issa Dahabreh, the lead study author and a research associate at Tufts Medical Center's Institute for Clinical Research & Health Policy Studies, in Boston.

FAA quietly defuses potential airplane threat 03/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 9:27pm]
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