I have reported in the past on the many dangers present on cruise ships such as the risk of being the victim of a sexual assault or some other type of crime. I have also reported on the potential dangers of shore excursions, which take passengers to unknown areas in different foreign countries, that present risks unknown to passengers, as well as the dangers involved in activities onboard cruises that have exploded with the addition of fancy water parks, zip lines, rock climbing walls, surfing pools, and many other activities historically developed for land based parks and recreational areas, which have created many challenges, including having the proper set up on the high seas, proper personnel with the proper training, and just plain old general safety control over these activities. Now, in recent developments, breathing can be a danger on cruise ships?
A recent study by a German environmental association, Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU), concluded that a passenger can be subjected to more toxins on a cruise ship than on land. The German association published their findings on a French documentary TV series after a journalist secretly went onboard a cruise ship and took samples of the air. After testing the air quality, they found that the concentration of harmful particles was 20 times worse than it would be in a crowded city. According to NABU, the air quality was a result of bad fuel and filters on board the ships.
I have seen almost everything that could happen on a cruise ship but never thought the air passengers are breathing on these cruise ships could be more harmful than the air we breathe on land. I am sure we all remember how smoking used to be allowed on airplanes and no thought or concerns were given to the air passengers breathed on airplanes. After decades, it was finally discovered that not only did tobacco cause cancer, but second hand smoke was a danger to the non-smokers breathing the air as well. Now the air on cruise ships potentially poses similar dangers as inhaling these harmful particles can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and lung diseases according to the study.
A family vacation on a cruise ship is a wonderful way to spend a vacation. The point in reporting this recent development is raise awareness and make sure future cruises do not get a false sense of security from the fancy, slick marketing campaigns of the cruise ship industry, and from the information they selectively reveal to the public through their representatives. It seems that the cruise lines try to get away with as much as possible financially when it comes to the environment as we also saw this past December when Princess Cruises pleaded guilty to polluting the ocean. For years, legislators along with the public were in the dark regarding what really happens on cruise ships. Although legislation has since improved regarding transparency on cruises, based on the recent fines against Princess Cruises for illegally polluting the waters and covering it up, we wonder if the saying “what happens on a cruise stays on a cruise” is still the case.