Study finds cabin air toxins passed onto flight crew22 February 2016
Traces of dangerous chemicals were found in patients’ blood and urine samples
A study carried out by researchers in Germany suggests that toxins found in cabin air are passed onto flight attendants and passengers, after dangerous chemicals were found in a group of patients.
A team of researchers from the University of Göttingen in Germany tested 140 patients, many of whom were cabin crew, and found organophosphates and volatile organic compounds in their blood and urine samples.
The study suggests that these compounds may have been leaked into the cabin air supply from engine fuel, oils or antifreeze. Organophosphate compounds cause symptoms such as nausea and light-headedness and can attack the nervous system, circulation and airways.
Concerns about the dangerous effects of contaminated cabin air, and the associated health effects, also known as ‘aerotoxic syndrome’, were raised last month when a flight from London to Los Angeles was grounded after it was reported a crew member fainted and passengers felt unwell.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) say that ‘fume events’ are rare and cabin air is safe.
David Robinson of Thompsons Solicitors said: “These latest findings support long-term concerns over aerotoxic syndrome and underline the serious health risks associated with contaminated cabin air.
“As it stands, there are no official guidelines on what is a ‘safe’ level of exposure for cabin staff and passengers, despite growing concerns around aerotoxic syndrome.
“The passenger airline industry must acknowledge the findings of this latest research and a thorough investigation is urgently needed to establish how cabin crew, pilots and passengers can be better protected from the risks of exposure to contaminated cabin air.”
Diagnosed with an industrial disease? Receive legal advice and more with Thompsons.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a work-related disease or illness in the last three years, our industrial disease compensation specialists are on hand to support you.
Whether your working conditions are the cause of the illness, or are a contributing factor, our industrial disease experts can help you to build a case for compensation that takes into account your present and future needs.
In addition to getting the best possible legal advice, we’ll also make sure you are put in contact with medical and rehabilitation experts who can aid your recovery.
If you’d like more detailed information about how to start a claim, visit our How to Make a Compensation Claim page.