The Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry



Volume 23, Number 1, pp. 25-30




Anatomy of an occupational hazard: Cabin air contamination in the air transportation industry Part 3. Aircraft, powerplants, repair and service. An evolutionary miscalculation leading to the proximate cause of contamination in cabin air

J.M. Lind


Although the first commercial passenger jet aircraft used engine bleed air to heat and pressurize the cabin and provide breathing air, until about 1980 most airliners used external fresh air and turbocompressors for the job. Thereafter bleed air became standard. But the combination of increasing engine reliability and lower ticket revenue per passenger encouraged airlines to abandon time between overhaul (TBO) in favour of engine health management (EHM) and condition-based maintenance (CBM). Fume events leading to aircrew and passenger illness and, in extreme cases, pilot incapacitation, became more common, yet the severity was greatly downplayed, to the extent of routinely denying workers compensation to affected crewmembers.


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