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Union calls for action on aircraft cabin pollution

A major trade union has urged airlines to fit cabin air filtration units on board aircraft to improve the air quality for crews working on flights.

Unite, which represents over 25,000 cabin crew working for airlines operating out of the UK, has made the comments after it was revealed that EasyJet is to fit ‘air filters’ to aircraft to reduce the effects of harmful air on board planes for its crews.

Unite represents 25,000 cabin crew working for airlines operating out of the UK

According to the union, in most modern aircraft, unfiltered bleed air from jet engines is used to supply the cabin, but due to design and in the event of an oil leak, fumes can make their way directly inside the aircraft cabin via the aircraft ventilation system.

The union is calling on the airline industry to monitor cabin air and for an independent inquiry so that dangers can be fully assessed and investigated in an open forum.

Commenting Unite national officer for civil aviation Oliver Richardson said: “Unite’s cabin crew members have long-standing concerns about exposure to toxic cabin air and the effects of the contaminated air they breathe on planes on their health.

Concerns

Commenting on the issue, Unite national officer for civil aviation, Oliver Richardson, said: “Unite’s cabin crew members have long-standing concerns about exposure to toxic cabin air and the effects of the contaminated air they breathe on planes on their health.

“This potential game-changing ‘safety first’ move by easyJet to fit cabin air filters is an acknowledgement of the growing concern among cabin crew and passengers about fume events and the air that they breathe while flying.

“The whole of the aviation industry must now follow the lead of one of the UK’s and Europe’s largest airlines and fit cabin air filters.â€?

Howard Beckett Unite assistant general secretary for legal services, added: “Unite currently has around 90 active legal cases relating to fume events and toxic cabin air following the creation of our fume event register last year.

“Contaminated cabin air has serious health effects and has ruined lives. It has been a problem that the industry has known about for years.

“It can no longer be swept under the carpet and there is still a need for an independent inquiry so that the dangers of toxic cabin air and fume events can be fully assessed in an open forum.â€?

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