The Guy Who Deiced Our Plane

the-guy-hwo-deiced-the-plane.jpgThis is a story about changing expectations. Today we expect everyone to be protected from nearly every hazard. That’s why what Helaine and I saw at Midway Airport in Chicago stood out.

The guy spraying the deicing solution on our airplane is our problem child. He’s wearing goggles (or glasses–it’s tough to say for sure), but breathing in the deicing mist¹!

The American Chemical Society says:

“aircraft deicing fluids are aqueous solutions of a glycol, or mixture of glycols, along with proprietary additives. Depending on the formulation required, the additives might include a surfactant, polymer thickening agent, pH buffer, corrosion inhibitor, flame retardant, or dye.”

Why is anyone breathing in this stuff? Shouldn’t he have some sort of protection, or have I just become a bleeding heart liberal with a nanny complex?

¹ – As always, click the photo for a larger, clearer picture.

3 Responses to “The Guy Who Deiced Our Plane”

  1. Laura says:

    Good catch! (and welcome home by the way, our best to Stef — we still can’t believe she’s not a little girl anymore). Anyway I notice things like your de-icer guy, too. For example, even on many of the home improvement shows, it boggles my mind that the carpenters and other construction workers (men and women alike) often wear masks, but don’t protect their EYES from flying wood, sheetrock and other particles by wearing goggles. Or vice versa.

  2. DorisC says:

    Hey Geoff,

    My husband is a master carpenter, among his many talents, he installs and refinishes hard wood floors. When we were first married I could tell when he came home when he lied about wearing his mask…his breath smelled like finish…imagine garlic breath, or booze breath!

    Now he wears a respirator ( that I purchased for him) and I feel better about “those jobs” .

    That is quite the picture…where is OSHA!!!

  3. Bob says:

    It’s the summer of 1970, and I’m working for the state at a bridge maintenance facility, this being my first summer job after graduating high school. There’s a guy named Pete, a sign painter, who’s been working at the facility for ages, and set to retire soon. Pete smokes like a chimney, and while I don’t remember for sure, I’d wager he’s never worn a respirator while painting, either. One of the guys starts talking to him about his smoking, and Pete dismisses all the talk about the link between smoking and health problems. “Nothing to it!” Pete says.

    Move forward a year, and I’ve got the same summer job. Pete, however, has retired early, due to emphysema.

    There are lots of people who believe nothing can hurt them, until something does. Considering the track record of such folks, you have to wonder why they believe as they do.

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