In the news today there is a report of a bat (yes the small black kind) that flew onto a Delta flight. The bat swooped around the cabin of the aircraft but did not share its saliva before it escaped through the cabin door. As a result, the Center for Disease control got involved and followed up with and interviewed 45 (out of 50) passengers. Wow. When will we see a similar response to exposure to burning engine jet oil or hydraulic fluid on airplanes?
It is estimated that at least once a day an airplane full of passengers and crew is exposed to contaminated toxic air. See Murawski and Supplee, An Attempt to Characterize the Frequency, Health Impact and Operational Costs of Oil in the Cabin and Flight Deck Supply Air on U.S. Commercial Aircraft, Journal of ASTM International, Vol. 5, No. 5. The effects of exposure to the organophosphates, volatile organic compounds and other toxins release by these burning fluids is serious. It is time that the CDC and the FAA react after suspected fume events by following up with passengers and interviewing them. Now, when people smell a “dirty socks” odor on a plane they have no reason to believe that it may be burning jet engine oil. We the public have a right to know what we are breathing on airplanes.
For more information about the effect and treatment of breathing contaminated bleed air, visit our website.