We know that the air pollution caused by airplanes constantly flying around the globe is one of the biggest factors damaging the environment. Did you know, however, that the detrimental impact of this pollution is not only restricted to the air outside the plane, but the air inside the cabin is also affected. The Observer newspaper has revealed today that ‘pilots, cabin crew and passengers are being exposed to a potentially toxic gas’.
Antony Barnett writes: ‘that in the past three years there have been reports of more than 100 incidents where fumes have contaminated the air inside British aircraft. The gases are potentially damaging to health, with one new report from University College London suggesting that up to 197,000 passengers are exposed to the contaminated air every year.’Barnett gives several examples of reports by cabin staff of feeling nauseous and dizzy with a burning sensation in the nose and mouth. We are told that scientists believe these symptoms to be caused by
‘burning engine oil leaking into the ventilation system’. The engine oil includes toxic chemicals that are organo-phospates similar to pesticides.
However the airline industry has countered these claims, a spokesman from BA said: 'While we know of incidences where the crew have raised concerns about fumes, investigations carried out in conjunction with the CAA found that there were no health implications. Further studies on our Boeing 757 fleet were carried out by an independent specialist that concluded that of oil compounds in the cabin were well below the toxicological threshold for humans.’