Warning over air quality on planes

11 April 2011 13:39

A former pilot has claimed that toxic fumes on board aeroplanes are making people 'seriously sick'

A former pilot has claimed that toxic fumes on board aeroplanes are making people 'seriously sick'

A former pilot who worked with Qantas has claimed that toxic fumes on board aeroplanes are making people "seriously sick".

Dr Susan Michaelis - who worked for a regional division of Qantas in Australia - said her current medical condition, which forced her to quit her job, was caused by exposure to poisonous fumes.

Dr Michaelis, who also studied the effects of fumes on planes as part of her PhD, said: "It's one of the biggest issues that the aviation industry has faced in a long time. It's about the air people breathe in aircraft and whether it's safe or not. If you are not breathing safe air there's a very big problem."

However, a spokesman for the British Airline Pilots Association said most pilots in the UK do not consider fume leaks to pose a major health risk.

The spokesman said: "The whole issue of toxic air in cabins is controversial. Some pilots believe it is a widespread problem, but the bulk of pilots don't believe that."

He said the Government has been urged to look into cabin air quality.

Findings of a Cranfield University study, commissioned by the Department for Transport, will be published "very shortly".

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