insecticide on planes to India


i just wanted to point out to everyone that India makes it mandatory for airlines to spray insecticide on all incoming aircraft, while the passengers are on board, to ensure that no bugs enter India.  while i was in the lavatory, i could hear the flight attendant mumbling about something, and all i heard was “World Health Organization”.  when i got back to my seat, my  husband said something about spray, and i assumed that they had been lecturing someone about spraying perfume in the cabin or that it was a scent free environment or some such.  i could smell something, but didn’t think anything more of it.

shortly after this, i developed a very strange rash on my left hand, fingers and arm, and got pretty freaked out, because i thought maybe i had been exposed to crustaceans and was having hives or some sort of allergic reaction.  i had never had a rash that looked like this before, nor seen one.  we were about 1 hour from Mumbai, and i had a bit of a panic, i must say.  we just monitored the rash, and it seemed ok.  it was mostly gone by the second day.

eventually, in conversation with my husband, it came out that they had done this insecticide spray, and i looked up some of the side effects that had been reported in the past.  rash was one of them.  while i have no clue as to if my rash was caused by the spray or something else, and probably will never know (unless it reoccurs when i go next time), i just wanted you all to be informed, as i had never heard of this, and the airline certainly didn’t give us any warning or make it prominent on their website or anything, they actually made the announcement while they were spraying.

so, while there is nothing you can do about it, other than not go to India, i wanted to put this out there, in case people are making plans to go and they have some chemical sensitivities, perhaps a conversation with your doctor might be in order, perhaps an N-95 mask is in order?   you may also want to have an epi-pen or benadryl if you have allergies, just in case; it seems airplanes are rife with allergens.


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