Toxic airplane cabin air has become a common problem for thousands of airplane people who breathe toxic air every day. It causes a number of health concerns, including headaches, breathing problems, and vision problems, also known as Aerotoxic Syndrome. The symptoms are caused as a result of breathing toxic fumes that circulate many commercial airline cabins. Although most of the effects of toxic airplane cabin air are short-lived, they may result in constant neurological problems.
If you are experiencing headaches, breathing issues, vision problems, or any other symptoms after air travel, you may need to contact a law firm who specialize in toxic substance litigation. The toxic substance lawyer will be able to help you if you are entitled to compensation.
What Is Aerotoxic Syndrome?
The symptoms caused by toxic airplane cabin air are unofficially called Aerotoxic Syndrome. The issue of toxic airplane cabin air has been a controversial topic in the airline industry since many years. Airplane cabin air needs to be pressurized, heated, and then circulated in the cabin to make it suitable for breathing during flight. Many commercial planes are designed to make cabin air or “bleed air” which is drawn in from the plane engines in compressed form. This air is then mixed with existing cabin air and recirculated throughout the flight.
According to critics, the system that is used to re-circulate the air does not always remove fumes or vapors from the engine in most airplanes. The air cleaning system may wear out over time or malfunction, resulting in the presence of chemical contaminants and fumes in the airplane cabin air. These fumes are included in the air from the oil that lubricates the engine, creating a fume event. At times, the mixing of oil and air becomes so obvious, that you are able to literally see fumes and smoke filling the cabin.
The fume event contains several toxic chemicals, including tricresyl phosphate (TCP), which is a known neurotoxin. Nickel, cadmium, and beryllium are some other toxins that are present in the fume event, and are drawn into bleed air. The presence of these toxins in cabin air causes damage to the central nervous system. The severity of damage varies from person to person.
Some aircrafts, like the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, use safe technology to prevent Aerotoxic Syndrome. Makers of these aircrafts use electrically-driven compressors to supply cabin air, instead of using bleed air. This anti-bleed technology fixes the problem of toxic airplane cabin air. However, other airlines should also take steps to reduce the risk of Aerotoxic Syndrome in existing bleed-air airplanes, like installation of bleed air filtration systems, use of a less toxic oil formulation, and air contamination detectors in bleed air supplies.
What Are The Symptoms of Aerotoxic Syndrome?
The symptoms of Aerotoxic Syndrome vary from person to person. Some of the common short-term symptoms include blurred vision, tunnel vision, tremors, shaking, loss of balance, vertigo, parathesias, loss of consciousness, as well as seizures.
Other passengers may experience headache, confusion, feeling of intoxication, memory impairment, dizziness, as well as lightheadedness. Nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, and irritation of the nose, eyes and upper airways are also some common short-term effects. Other people may experience shortness of breath, increased heart beat, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, tightness of the chest, cough, and respiratory failure.
Long-term effects of Aerotoxic Syndrome
Some long-term effects of Aerotoxic Syndrome include numbness in the limbs, fingers or lips, also known as Parasthesias.
Some people may experience memory impairment, severe headaches, sleep disorders, dizziness, loss of balance, lack of coordination, and forgetfulness. Others may experience exhaustion, chest pain, muscle weakness, fatigue, hot flashes, increased heart rate, joint pain, and heart palpitations.
Other long-term effects of Aerotoxic Syndrome include eye irritation, as well as irritation of the nose and upper airway. The person may show signs of immunosuppresion and chemical sensitivity.
Skin blisters, skin rashes, itching, hair loss, salivation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are other side effects.
These symptoms of Aerotoxic Association are usually mistaken for some other disorders, like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, mysterious viral infections, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, depression, sleep disorders, stress or anxiety. The more serious cases should not be taken lightly and a medical specialist must be contacted for immediate attention.
Victims of toxic airplane cabin air must exercise their legal rights if they think they are suffering from Aerotoxic Syndrome. Contacting a toxic substances lawyer is important.