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.