back to article UK begins probe into aeroplane air quality

The UK government is paying Cranfield University to investigate air quality on aeroplanes amid concerns that dangerous contaminated air could be endangering pilot and passenger health. Professor Helen Muir is running the probe. Researchers will look at BAe 146 cargo and passenger planes, B757 cargo and passenger planes and …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

This post has been deleted by its author

Passenger Air Quality

"Passengers are reminded that farting can result in ejection from the aircraft."

0
0

Consider this

I have had the misfortune to be on a plane when someone let rip. The blasted thing gets pumped round the whole cabin and you can watch the wave of horrified faces as it criculates round.

Not the best flight I ever had

0
0
Thumb Down

A321 as control

How about air *outside* the aircraft as a control. Sure include the A321 as a subject given that the 757 and 146's have a reputation for filling the cockpit/cabin with oil fumes. The A321 can be sampled as a 'clean' aircraft.

With the A321 as a control, all the study can show is whether the air inside a 757 and 146 is cleaner or dirtier than that in and Airbus, and by how much.

The base assumption is that the air inside the A321 is clean, when it might not be. Increased CO2 levels anyone?

This smells (pun intended) of airline PR at worst, or bad science at best.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Select - FRESH, RECYCLE or CHOKE

The cabin fresh air is bled from the compressor section of the engines. It is then stepped down in pressure to control the temperature. The scope for contaminants to enter is small but still possible.

The problem is that airlines like to minimise fresh air flow as it detracts from the boost to the engines so more fuel is used. If there was loads of fresh then any contaminants would be very dilute indeed.

Clearly this is a green issue too. Do you want Hydrocarbons dumped into the atmosphere or not? If not then don't moan when they use the men's, women's and children's lungs to filter it out. ;o>

0
0
Coat

@Richard

...but from a purely technical point-of-view, by noting the order in which the facial expressions change it would be possible to map the airflow within the cabin...

0
0
Dead Vulture

Captain's message

"Hello, this is your captain speaking. We will be experiencing some flatulence ahead, so I advice you to keep you oxygen mask on until further notice"

0
0

@Tim Spence

"I've never heard of anyone dying or feeling ill from fumes on a plane. So there's a "bit of a funny smell" on one in a thousand flights, damn."

Do you not remember Deep Vein Thrombosis which killed a fair few folk. This was apparently linked to air quality on aircraft and this is what this research aims to answer questions on.

0
0
Coat

NO s*it

Since they stopped smoking on air plains the air quality has been rubbish.

back when smoking was allowed they had to cycle the air every 3 hours, now they dont have to cycle it as much and save money but increas health issues.

just my o2

0
0
Anonymous Coward

So not B737s then.....

I seem to remember reading several years ago that someone (scientific) had alleged that there was an issue with air quality on B737s and some planes that had originally been designed for military use, then commericialised.

Something to do with oils, vapours and exotic chemicals coming through from the engines into the cabin air supply. There was discussion about longterm exposure being particularly bad for health.

So maybe your once-a-year holiday-maker (if they still exist) is OK, but your frequent / business traveller could be at risk - in the same way that I don't mind the odd X-ray, but wouldn't want several per week.

Therefore this isn't new, but good that it's being investigated.

0
0
Boffin

Good

Please could they extend this to trains, ferries, buses, offices, anywhere with air conditioning. I have breathing problems and have difficulty staying alert unless there's enough oxygen entering my lungs; I have my bedroom window open all night and can barely sleep in hotels with air con and locked windows. I've fallen unconsious on a ferry before that insisted on keeping the air con on despite being packed to the seams with people for an hour.

When will people learn; cool air does not equal healthy air.

0
0
Black Helicopters

wasnt this on QI

as said before the air quality since they stopped allowing smoking is supposedly much worse now! as far as i know they dont filter clean air any more - just move the stale air around...

and you people moan at us smokers lol :)

i bet air quality is fine on the black choppers.... or pork choppers as i like to call them!

0
0

organophosphates

Tinfoil hat time:

http://opin.info/op_airback.php

0
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Somebody, somewhere needs research funding?

There is a lot of data on this. Google "tricresyl phosphate".

If you need more info on toxicity look for the "Material Safety Data Sheet" for tricresyl phosphate. You will see things like "EXPOSURE LIMITS:TWA: 0.1 (mg/m3)" -Time Weighted Average - (This is the sort of level you get for materials that are known to be toxic).

0
0
Alert

Planez Meanz Fartz

I dunno about you lot but whenever I fly I always fart.

Cabins are only pressurised to about 7,000 feet altitude so that drop in pressure (from 14.7PSI to 11.5PSI) always makes me fart. Now, I do fart quite a lot anyways and at the moment I am on a high-fibre diet so my advice to anyone is that if you see me getting on the plane, prepare to be methaned. <LOL>

0
0
Bronze badge
Heart

Better late than never?

As a largely unreconstructed chauvinist male it behoves to be careful with my choice of words. With a woman heading the team, perhaps progress will at last be made with this problem that has been apparent for years.

Women can be good engineers too! Power to her elbow.

0
0

Bad Air

Well, *I've* felt ill after breathing the air in a 747 for the 7plus hours it took to cross the Atlantic. More than once, and when you consider I've made the trip only about a dozen times, them's worrying stats.

Of course, some of the airports I've had to cool my heels in when flying point-to-point have made the air quality in the plane a secondary concern next to getting the hell out of <insert your own airport hell of choice>.

0
0

Airline policy

Generally on long haul flights after they feed the herd the policy is to cut back the o2 in the air so most people fall asleep. Any air hostitute, can confirm.

0
0
Stop

@ Liam

Most of the pollution I experence is from you smokers who think it's alright to blow it around - even outside. God bless the smoking ban, and I hope it's extended to everywhere

0
0

@KenBW2

"Most of the pollution I experence is from you smokers who think it's alright to blow it around - even outside. God bless the smoking ban, and I hope it's extended to everywhere"

Are you one of those twits who can be walking down a busy city street - thus in a sea of car exhaust - and you see a smoker 10 feet away and do that little disapproving cough-cough?

0
0
Alien

@Big_Boomer

Great. A heavy farter named 'Big Boomer'. God help us all.

And in other news, @ImaGnuber:

The funny thing is that a busy city street in a sea of car exhaust is like a bermuda beach compared to walking five feet from the walking particle distribution point that is a smoker.

I wholly support smokers' rights to smoke. However, if someone strolled around town with one of those "Michael Schumacher won another championship" air horns blaring constantly, there'd be reason to be upset - nearby traffic noise not withstanding.

Alien because it's late here and I'm feeling kind of spacey.

0
0

I smell fumes

Ever fly at the back of a plane.

Any time I'm in the back few rows on a flight I always smell fumes, stale air, fuel/exhaust smells.

I think it's about time this is done as we are only going to fly more.

I've heard that for long haul flights the ground crew face the other way when they open the doors due to the blast of stale, rank air that blasts out of the plane. (anybody able to confirm)

The air on planes is bad and only gettingn worse.

0
0
Stop

It's horrible.

Particularly at the end of long-haul flights, as has been noted here before. My personal statistics (reached with the use of an organic smell detector, runs under the trade name "nose") seem to indicate ar correlation between the packing density of cattle and the amount of olfactory contaminants in the air, and of course the time the herd spends inside the tin can.

I would give pretty good grades to Airbus, though a 12-hour flight in a full A330 can leave one wanting to breathe some air for a change. In a 777, it would be time for the medics by then, though. Don't talk to me about long-haul flights in 757s; I'm still considering sueing the airline for breach of the Geneva convention.

Best flying experience in short-haul so far were the Avro RJ series jets, though that is probably only because they have a relatively low sardine density. Worst so far 737, which also normally has the highest body count per square inch.

0
0

@David Wiernicki

Actually I agree with you that it is not always pleasant to be near a smoker (I'm a smoker and try to be considerate) - it's the neurotic little creatures who react to someone far enough away that get me going - I've had it happen even when I'm just fiddling with an unlit cig.

Otherwise fully approve of banning smoking in enclosed spaces - even if it would sometimes be nice with coffee etc. ...sigh.

Also agree with "NO s*it " that air quality on planes seems to have dropped since the ban. What the hell's up with that?

0
0
Alert

Documentary

There a documentary a month or so ago (sorry can't remember title) that concerned the subject of airplane air quality ... not smoking, to which this thread seems to have been diverted.

Apparently, the chemical tricresyl phosphate, mentioned above, is used as an additive for lubrication purposes in the engines of big jets. The cabin air is sourced from the engine and can be contaminated with this chemical. There have been incidents where the contamination is so heavy it has rendered members of the flight crew incapable of doing their jobs. In one case, the pilot. In lower concentrations however, it cannot be detected by smell, but can cause nausia and other symptoms. Longer term exposure can have more drastic effects.

If this documentary is to be believed, then a study of this nature is LONG overdue.

[[ warning triangle as if you don't batton down the hatches you wouldn't need to worry about the air quality ... you wouldn't need any :-) ]]

0
0

I feel ill whilst I'm still in the terminal

@ Mister Cheese: fantastic, £200,000 worth of research grant neatly circumvented in one simple statement.

@ British Airways: Will you theiving phuktards be helping these scientists by offering them cheaper seats cause £200,000 ain't gonna go far after the next rise in fares and the re-introduction of baggage charges.

After the Smoking Ban: I too hated it when people would light up as I began my starter. And I too am a smoker. I feel persecuted by this draconian law. What was wrong with having "designated" smoking areas?... a particular table, a corner of a room, a seperate room, a seperate pub or restaurant even... why oh why did it have to be a total ban? - it's stupid, it's demeaning, it's cruel and unusual in the punishment of people who are otherwise exactly the same as everyone else. It is also a breach of Article 5 (of the good old widely ignored UK ratified document of humane reasoning... see therefore also Articles 6,7,8,9 and 29(2)). I've listened to barmaids outside pubs apologising over their fag to their smoking regulars because we are all standing out in the pissing rain - whilst the entire downstairs bar is completely empty (YES, this pub had two distinct bars, each with it's own door). I have also found myself unable to walk along a pavement (that's a 'sidewalk' guys) because the bulk of a pubs clientelle have taken over the frontage.

And since I began smoking BEFORE the smoking ban, can I be found guilty for lighting up in a place in which it was legal for me to smoke prior to the ban? - see Article 11(2).

I am a smoker. I express myself by smoking - See Article 19. Big_Boomer, is presumably a petomaine and, expresses himself with a more rudimentary release of gas.

0
0
Thumb Up

Behave, citizens

After breathing recycled air, the next logical step is... "Eat recycled food, it's good for the environment and it's okay for you"

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums