Statistically, commercial airlines are one of the safest ways to travel, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks involved. When most people fly, the incidents they usually worry about are extreme circumstances that almost never happen. All the while, they are the most common incidents that occur routinely and still pose a risk to the health and safety of passengers aboard an aircraft.
One common risk that is less known to the average passenger is posed by toxic cabin air.
Recently, five flight attendants filed suits against Boeing for injuries they claim they suffered due to the design of the Boeing 767. They claim that the air in the cabin became toxic and inhaling the air caused them to suffer significant cognitive impairment.
Furthermore, they claimed that Boeing has been aware of the extent of toxic air cabin events on their planes and has taken no remedy to solve the problem, continuing to put flyers at risk.
While toxic air cabin is most commonly associated with flight attendants because they’re on board airplanes for a significant amount of time, it can affect any passenger, especially frequent flyers that are exposed to cabin air often as well. The effects of inhaling this toxic cabin air can be extensive and life-altering, causing massive medical costs if not remedied.
Thankfully, there are personal injury laws that apply to the effects of toxic cabin air. As personal injury experts, we’ll highlight some of the basics you should know about this health threat and some steps you can take if you believe you’ve suffered from it.
What is Toxic Cabin Air?
Toxic cabin air, also known as a fume event or aerotoxic syndrome, is when the air in the passenger cabin of a plane is polluted by fumes that result from the functioning of the plane’s jet engine. This happens because of the design of passenger cabins. Airplane cabins are filled with a supply of air that has been pressurized and warmed to keep the passengers in the cabin comfortable, without it, passengers would be exposed to the severe cold of high altitude flight.
What Are The Causes of Toxic Air Cabin
While toxic air cabin events can occur for a number of reasons, they all come down to the way in which the cabin gets its comfortable air in the first place. In most modern airplanes, the cabin air comes from the plane’s jet engine due to a process called “bleed air”. This air is repeatedly mixed into the existing cabin air, which is being recirculated.
Unfortunately, this bleed air process means that the fumes coming from the engine, full of dangerous chemicals, can move into the cabin air through the ventilation system. This can happen undetected, but when a large amount of fumes enter at once this is a fume event that can have serious immediate health effects.
Signs of a toxic air cabin event include telltales like a chemical smell in the cabin, mistiness in the air, and the sudden onset of coughing.
Toxic Air Cabin Symptoms
Passengers trapped in the airplane cabin with hazardous air from a fume event can suffer a number of health effects including short term symptoms like:
- Nose bleed
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing
Lasting symptoms fume events commonly include neurological symptoms like:
- Cognitive problems
Toxic Air Cabin Lawyers
Pursuing legal claims for harm suffered from a toxic air cabin event can be more complex than other injury and disease claims and require specialized legal expertise because of the nature of the different entities involved in air travel and large airline companies. If you think you’ve suffered from toxic air in an airplane cabin, you should contact an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible. Only a knowledgeable lawyer can inform you of all the avenues available to you to get compensation for your suffering.
With over 30 years of personal injury law experience, McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt has the expertise to fully evaluate your legal case and get you the payout you deserve. To schedule a meeting for a free consultation, fill out our form or call us directly at 1-800-590-4116.