AEROTOXIC SYNDROME: ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS FOLLOWING EXPOSURE TO JET OIL MIST DURING COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS

Abstract
Materials used in the operation of aircraft may contain hazardous ingredients, some with significant toxicities, and need care in handling and use. Some maintenance or operational activities, such as leaks or poorly controlled maintenance procedures, can, through contamination of aircraft cabin air, produce unwanted exposures to personnel and passengers. Occasionally, such exposures (either short term intense or long term low level) may be of a magnitude to induce symptoms of toxicity. The symptoms reported by exposed individuals are sufficiently consistent to indicate the possibility of a discrete occupational health condition, termed aerotoxic syndrome. Features of this syndrome are that it is associated with air crew exposure at altitude to atmospheric contaminants from engine oil or other aircraft fluids, chronologically juxtaposed by the development of a consistent symptomology of irritancy, sensitivity and neurotoxicity. This syndrome may be reversible following brief exposures, but features are emerging of a chronic syndrome following moderate to substantial exposures

John Hoyte is a medically retired BAe146 Training Captain. He is Chairman of 'Aerotoxic Association' which he founded in 2007.

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