Congress to Make Airlines Face Toxic Cabin Air Problems

June 19, 2001
The Aircraft Clean Air Act, introduced in both the Senate and the\r\nHouse last week, will force airlines to address a serious public\r\nhealth issue onboard aircrafts.

The Aircraft Clean Air Act, introduced in both the Senate and the House last week, will force airlines to address a serious public health issue onboard aircrafts.

According to the bill, airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would have to record and respond to complaints of contaminated cabin air.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D. Calif., and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., introduced the legislation which would require:

The FAA to accept and record cabin air quality complaints from passengers, crew members and their representatives and pass the complaints to the appropriate airline -- allowing flight attendants and passengers who become ill from contaminated cabin air to link their symptoms to exposure to toxins in the air supply system.

The airlines to maintain records of all complaints for 10 years.

Airlines to provide mechanical and maintenance records within 15 days to a passenger or crew member who has developed specific symptoms that relate to contaminated cabin air.

A study to determine healthy oxygen levels in the cabin.

Hydraulic fluids and engine oils can get into the aircraft''s ventilation air, which is pumped into the aircraft cabin.

Exposure to contaminants in an aircraft''s air supply can have health effects ranging from flu-like symptoms to neurological damage.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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