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Hold It: Urine Allegedly Damaging 747s

Friday, February 24, 2017

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It's common knowledge that leaks can lead to corrosion, but one airline is giving that idea whole new meaning. A warning was recently issued to British Airways baggage handlers instructing them to stop urinating in the holds of planes, The Sun reports.

After engineers found several areas of flaking metalwork on the inside of Boeing 747s, the staff were allegedly told to relieve themselves in a restroom and not on the plane.

British Airways

After engineers found several areas of flaking metalwork on the inside of Boeing 747s, the staff were allegedly told to relieve themselves in a restroom and not on the plane.

A British Airways source said, “'They are tucked away in the holds of these massive planes and they need to go. It can be a real trek back to the toilet facilities at the staff center and when you have to go you have to go.”

The report insists that the aircraft weren’t in any real danger, and a spokesperson for the airline told the publication that there is no record of such a warning.

Other Incidents

It wouldn’t be the first time that public—or semi-public—urination has corroded property, however.

Several years ago, Brazil’s Maracana stadium was in need of repair due to constant urination on its terraces. Luis Eduardo Cardoso, an engineer at the stadium, said that it was a serious problem.

"We believe that the main cause of this structural damage is people going to the toilet. All those gallons of urine contain a lot of ammonia which acts with amazing speed,” he said. “It eats through the concrete and then acts like acid on the steel girders, which is why the corrosion is so devastating."

Hamburg, Germany, and Philadelphia have also tried out Ultra-Ever Dry superhydrophobic and oleophobic paint, which was introduced in February 2013 by UltraTech International, and a video out of Hamburg's St. Pauli district even went viral.

In San Francisco, a light pole, which was also said to have been corroded by urine, fell on top of a car sitting at a traffic light narrowly missing the driver inside. This incident came a month after the city announced it would be repainting public buildings and structures with a paint that’s designed to splash urine back on the perpetrator.

Hamburg, Germany, and Philadelphia have also tried out Ultra-Ever Dry superhydrophobic and oleophobic paint, which was introduced in February 2013 by UltraTech International, and a video out of Hamburg's St. Pauli district even went viral.

Perhaps British Airways won’t have to make any adjustments for its relief-anxious staff and the stern warning will do the trick.

   

Tagged categories: Aluminum; concrete; Corrosion; Corrosion protection; Health & Safety; North America; Paint; Paint application; Safety; Steel

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