Something in the Air

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Can polluted air on board planes damage your health? This episode of Panorama talks to pilots who have almost passed out at the controls and passengers who say they’ve been made ill by toxic fumes. The air breathed on airliners is drawn past the engines. It can become polluted by any leaks of engine oil.

‘Fume events’ are rare but there are no accurate figures of just how many occur each year. Panorama wanted to discover what was really in the air passengers, crew and pilots breathe on planes. Swabs and air samples during two UK flights will be analysed by toxicologist, Professor Christiaan Van Netten on Monday’s programme.

Toxic Fumes
Reporter Gerry Northam also meets a family who believe they were made ill by fumes on board a plane. Samantha and Pete Sabatino and their three children boarded a holiday charter flight to Florida. During the flight, six-year-old Emily complained of a funny smell then vomited violently.

In the following fortnight, other family members became ill. Mum Samantha was hospitalised. On the return flight, she made a list of 31 passengers who had been similarly affected after the flight out. They believe toxic fumes had contaminated the air on board. Sixteen of them are now planning legal action.

Something in the Air, 8.8 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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  • Anonymous

    This will create a crash sooner or later.

  • the555hit

    How many times you’ve been parked up awaiting takeoff and the cabin filling up with semi combusted kerosene? Who designed this kind of 5hite that intakes air from the engine exhaust? Word is that it was the same clever lovelies who designed those simple but effective gassing vans of the third reich.. kind of “ha! the untermensch want sleazyjet cheap trips .. make ‘em pay!” This is a new thing with new jets. Time to sack a few “designers” before they get serious.

  • Goldman Sachs Employee

    oh boo hoo hoo…. wahh… you know what… ALL AIRLINES SHOULD JUST QUIT THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY and left people figure out for themselves how to get to other countries.

    boo hoo hoo…..
    Don’t haave time for the trip because you are always “busy” with your schedules? too bad oh boo hoo hoo.

    Pay the expensive flights and then sue or better yet, buy your own private jet/