Ever wonder what exactly was the quality of the air was in a typical aircraft? With the advancements in air technology, air filters, and science, one would assume that we’ve mastered the technique of cleansing the air for air travel. While we have achieved great heights in that area, no pun intended, there are still some unfortunately air quality issues that have to be addressed. Passangers and crew alike constantly complain of symptoms like lightheadedness, headaches, and nasal irritation. What in the air is causing this discomfort? What is really in the air of an airplane? And are biological agents such as bacteria and viruses really an issue while flying?
High levels of the chemical “ozone” are in the air of an airplane during a flight. This chemical is naturally found in the atmosphere; however since the plane is at an elevated level, and is circulating the air that passengers breath, the chemical can pose a rather serious health risk for passengers.
Additionally, the interaction of ozone in the air creates a byproduct with skin oil called nonanal and decanal which cause headaches, nasal irritation, dry eyes, dry lips, and other common air travel complaints (ScienceDaily, 2007). This interaction is probably the reason why flight attendants and pilots, as well as passengers commonly report the aforementioned symptoms.
While airplane air is filtered using a filter which is supposed to filter out most pollutants in the air of the cabin, Weschler, the lead researcher in a study on the quality of air in airplanes noted that, “Any time you have a situation with high-occupant densities and elevated concentrations of ozone, the same kind of chemistry is going to occur.” Meaning that airplane filters simply cannot and will not be able to filter out these pollutants, at least not with current technology.
The same is true for biological pollutants such as bacteria and viruses. Any aviation organization or the FDA will vouch for the fact that airline air circulation filters do not support the circulation of bacterial and viral agents. However, close proximity to those with viral and bacterial infections still increases your risks for infection. These biological pollutants are unable to be eliminated completely due to the positioning and sheer number of the people in the airplane. Even the Aviation Health website (2005) notes that “there is potential for diseases to spread whenever groups of people are collected together in enclosed environments for a period of time.”
In addition to biological pollutants that may be present, ozone levels, and nonanal and decanal, airplane fuel, de-icing fluids, and hydraulic fluid fumes are all present in the air of the airplane. Read the reference here :Elektrischer-Fuchsschwanz.de