Het aerotoxisch syndroom: feit of fabel?

Stand van zaken
Leroy J. de Graaf, Gerard Hageman, Bernie C.M. Gouders en Michel F.A. Mulder

Aerotoxic syndrome: fact or fiction?

Conflict of interest: none declared. Financial support: none declared.

  • Although the air from the turbine engines of commercial jet aircraft is used chiefly for propulsion some is also used to refresh and replenish air in the cabin.

  • As a result of oil-seal leakage, pyrolysed engine oil or lubricating oil can contaminate cabin air via the aircraft’s ventilation system, and flight crew and passengers can then inhale the combusted fumes.

  • Exposure to emissions from cabin air, whether polluted or not, is associated with certain health risks.

  • This phenomenon is known as the aerotoxic syndrome or ´cabin contamination´.

  • The symptoms are non-specific, consisting predominantly of fatigue and mild cognitive impairment.

  • Possible adverse health effects are attributed factors including organophosphate tricresyl phosphate, a component of aircraft engine oil that is potently neurotoxic.