A flight abroad could bring about serious health issues in what has been dubbed ‘aerotoxic syndrome’.
Concerns have been raised about the quality of air circulating in the cabins of aircraft which can bring on various illnesses.
Leaks and fumes from jet engine oil and toilet spillages are thought to be the cause of the syndrome, with seals wearing over time and no filters in place to stop them entering cabins.
A sickly smell is usually detectable when a leak occurs and can bring on symptoms including headaches, vomiting and a tightness in the chest, according to the Aerotoxic Association.
Despite the concerns, the syndrome has so far not been officially recognised in medicine – but a group of MPs are set to call for “decisive action” to address the issue of contaminated air in passenger jets on commuters and cabin crew.
Leaks: Engine fumes are said to be responsible for Aerotoxic Syndrome (Rex)
Jonathan Reynolds, Labour MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, will lead a cross-party Westminster Hall debate on the subject.
He believes more work must be done to understand the impact contaminated air can have on the health of passengers and cabin crew alike.
He said: “In the 21st century, people deserve to know the air they breathe at work is clean and safe.
“Bleed air contamination happens more often than the industry acknowledges, and aerotoxic syndrome can kill.
“For the sake of both passengers and cabin crew, we need to take decisive action to prevent these leaks and understand the dangers to human health.”
Decisive action: Labour MP Jonathan Reynolds is leading a debate on the subject (Rex)
Fellow Labour MP Dawn Butler (Brent Central) and influential Tory Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West) are set to back Mr Reynolds’ call for action.
Ms Butler said: “I believe everyone has the right to work in a safe and secure environment and airlines, like any other employer, have a duty of care to their employees.
“The aviation industry however have failed to recognise the issue of ‘fume events’ whereby heated jet engine oil or hydraulic fluid fumes leak into cabin air.
“There are cases where we believe aerotoxic syndrome may have caused illness.
“More research is required to link symptoms experienced by airline employees to ‘fume events’.”
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