Aircraft: Air Conditioning

Department for Transport written question – answered on 16th December 2015.

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Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the 2010 PhD study by Susan Michaelis Health and flight safety implications from exposure to contaminated air in aircraft showing that 63 per cent of studied pilots experienced short-term effects from cabin air contamination, and 13 per cent were no longer able to maintain their pilot medical certification because of chronic ill health which bore a close temporal relationship to cabin air contamination; and what support is offered to pilots, crew and passengers who are affected by fume events.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Parliamentary Under-Secretary

The Government has not made any assessment of the study referred to. However, the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment has reviewed a number of earlier reports by the author when conducting its own research into cabin fume events, which has informed the Government’s assessments.

Support for those concerned that their health has been impacted by air travel is offered through the National Health Service. The Government would encourage any pilots, crew or passengers with health concerns relating to fume events in the first instance to contact their GP, who can assess their case and refer on to specialist services where appropriate.

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