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Why AA Flight Attendants Want 'Full Recall' of New Garb

They like the way uniforms look—but they say they're unhealthy
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2016 2:26 PM CST

(Newser) – Total recall: American Airlines. USA Today reports on the more than 70,000 workers for the airline who received newly designed uniforms in September, uniforms that by many accounts were pleasing to the eye and well-received. But that was before those pleased eyes began suffering from irritation, and before a slew of other health issues set in that sickened more than 1,000 employees—and AA's flight attendants union is saying these maladies are tied to the new outfits. In a memo released Wednesday, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants noted flight attendants had sent in more than 1,600 complaints about physical reactions they think the new garb is causing, including "headaches, rashes, hives, burning skin and eye irritation, itching, and respiratory problems—to name a few."

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AA spokesman Ron DeFeo says the uniforms have already been through the testing rotation three times, per the Dallas Morning News, and that results came back "normal." DeFeo adds about 200 employees have been allowed to go back to their old work outfits, and the airline has placed an order for uniforms not made of wool (in case any reactions are being caused by allergies). But now, with so many affected after "both direct and indirect contact with the uniform," the union is calling for a full recall. "Our members should not only look good in the uniform, but also feel good in the uniform," the memo notes. "All employees deserve to be able to come to work in a uniform and an environment free from toxins and potential health hazards." (Itchy outfit or not, this AA pilot stood up for his flight attendant.)

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