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Dangerous chemicals found in blood samples of cabin crew raise fears about in-flight ‘poisoning’

We’re all aware of the dangers of flying, but there may be some additional dangers faced by the passengers and crew we aren’t aware of. A new study by German scientists, “have found harmful chemicals known as organophosphates as well as traces of volatile compounds from burning aircraft fuel in blood samples taken from aircrew.” Organophosphates are used in the creation of insecticides, herbicides, and nerve agents. The concern stems from the fact that airplanes recycle nearly half of the air inside their cabins, and the other half is drawn in through the engines, “often without passing through filters.” Engine leaks can cause passengers and crew to suffer from what’s known as “fume events”. These events have been traced back as far as the 1950s, and in 2012 lead to the death of a British Airways co-pilot. Fortunately, according to the UK’s department of transport, “fume events” only occur on 0.05 % of flights, and newer aircrafts are being designed to eliminate them entirely.

To learn more about exposure to organophosphates on aircrafts, click here: