In the last month two former British Airways Pilots were laid to rest and at least of one of them believed his untimely death was as a result of breathing toxic air inside the cabin of his Jet for years.
According to a recent article in the Sunday Express , as former BA Pilot Richard Westgate was dying he instructed his Lawyer to sue his former Employer for damages for illness caused by the years of breathing toxic air in the cabin of his Employers planes. Both Westgate and fellow former Pilot Karen Lysakowska were 43 when they died. The only connection between the two, other than the untimeliness of their deaths, is that both were Pilots aboard British Airways Jets.
The Sunday Express report indicated that the Lawyer representing Westgate planned to show that British Airways had failed to monitor the quality of its air aboard its fleet of Jets. The condition had worsened to the point that many Pilots were forced to wear masks while they were flying planes to avoid breathing in too much air. The Lawyer contends that British Airways is liable under the Countries control of substances hazardous to health regulations and that it breached health and safety guidelines by forcing British Airways Pilots and Staff to breath toxic air aboard the jets.
The report also referred to data from the Civil Aviation Authority which shows oxygen masks are being used more often, up to 5 times per week, aboard flights by Pilots and crew members during so-called fume events.
Toxic airplane air is not just a suspected problem aboard British Airways jets. In the US, more passengers, airplane crews and Pilots are reporting increased incidents of headaches and breathing difficulties after they have taken a flight. Increased exposure to this toxic airplane air is being called “aerotoxic syndrome” by some and the disease is gaining legitimate traction as more people who board planes regularly report the same side effects.
Speaking about the claims Liam Moloney, Healthcare Solicitor said today “Cabin air is comprised of compressed air generated by the engines and this “bleed air” is then blended with air already in the cabin and constant or prolonged exposure to this air can have long-term neurological effects. Aerotoxic Syndrome is a well-recognised condition and can cause headaches, nausea and breathing difficulties. Sufferers are often diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, viral infections or depression’’
Mr Moloney continued ‘’ the claims that were made by these Pilots are not new . An Australian Court previously awarded Ms. Terri Williams, a flight attendant in her 40’s, $129,000 after she fell ill breathing ‘toxic air’ on an airplane during a routine flight from Sydney to Brisbane in 1992.’’
Mr Moloney added “ Irish Airlines should immediately reduce the risk to passengers and employees by installing bleed-air filtration systems to improve the quality of air in the cabin and to reduce the risk of contamination by engine oil’’