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Old 26th Feb 2015, 16:19
  #106 (permalink)  
Ian W
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida and wherever my laptop is
Posts: 1,292
It is simple to blame poorly maintained engines and the potential fumes from them being fed into the cabin as bleed air. However, they are not the only source of chemicals that could affect people who are sensitive to them. There are many VOCs given off by the plastics in seats and cabin trim and the various adhesives used. These will vary as the fittings in the aircraft age are repaired and replaced, and may be more apparent in aircraft at 8000ft pressure than they would be testing for them on the ground.

Some people are extremely sensitive to some compounds - people with peanut allergies can be affected by nuts just in the same room. So it may not be a simple check the bleed air approach that is needed. Obviously, there may be some cases where on one flight a whole crew is affected where it is obvious it is something -on that flight- but it could be the wrong or too much chemical in the lavatory system or a disinfectant chemical used by the cleaners just as much as the bleed air.

It does look as if bleed air is getting the blame as it is easy to blame. There needs to be far more careful research. It is a real problem for some people, but taking the wrong action in an attempt to solve it will not help them.
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