Britain's largest union, Unite, repeated its call for a public inquiry into toxic cabin air on board aircraft today (Tuesday 19 September) as an international two-day conference into aircraft cabin air got underway at Imperial College London.
The Unite sponsored conference that is supported by industry, will be the most in-depth conference on cabin air contamination ever and look at the business, regulatory and technical solutions to toxic cabin air on jet airliners.
The conference comes as it emerged that easyJet is to fit cabin air filters to its aircraft to reduce the risk of toxic contaminated air entering airplane cabins and harming cabin crew and passengers.
Unite, which represents over 25,000 cabin crew working for airlines operating out of the UK, has described the move as a potential 'game-changer' and an acknowledgement of the health problems caused by contaminated bleed air and fume events on board aircraft.
Commenting Unite national officer for civil aviation, Oliver Richardson, said: “The move by easyJet to fit cabin air filters is a step in the right direction but more can and must be done to understand and combat toxic cabin air.
“The airline industry has been aware for years of the problem of contaminated cabin air and too many lives have been ruined for it to be swept under the carpet.
“This groundbreaking international conference that Unite is supporting will inform and shine a light on the impact of toxic cabin air and deepen understanding.
“But we need to go further and the airline industry needs to face up to its responsibilities to passengers and cabin crew.
“We need an independent inquiry so that the dangers of toxic cabin air can be fully assessed and investigated in an open forum to give passengers and cabin crew peace of mind that the air they breathe on aircraft is not going to damage their health.”