In the context of health and safety of airline passengers and crew members, air quality inside airplanes has been a subject of debate for over 60 years.
A current focus of research is on cabin or cockpit air quality (CAQ) in airplanes, which can be affected by short-term incidents, referred to as “fume events”. A significant incident affecting in-flight air quality is the leakage of oil fumes from the engines into the cabin and/or cockpit via the bleed air system. As a result of such an incident, potentially hazardous substances such as organophosphates, phenyl naphthylamine, and tricresyl phosphate (TCP), which have been associated with health complaints, can be introduced into the cabin or cockpit. Such health complaints are often summarized with little differentiation under the term “aerotoxic syndrome“. The occurrence of an engine-related fume event is considered a very rare and unforeseeable incident; but besides engine-related incidences, there are also other sources of contamination such as cleaning processes, inflow of outdoor air, passengers etc., that can have a negative impact on cabin air quality.