Toxic travels

CAPITALISM: How safe is the air we breathe on commercial airline flights?

Tristan Loraine knows a lot about flying; the former British Airways captain fell in love with it when he was 17 and still describes his first-ever solo flight from a small airfield in Belfast, as his best-ever flying experience.

But 18 years ago, after experiencing increasing symptoms of poor health that included frequent lung infections, numbness in the extremities, and what he calls «brain-fog», he was medically retired. Puzzled by the unexpected bouts of ill health, he talked with other pilots and aircrew he knew had experienced similar symptoms. Soon he had identified a key suspect: toxic fumes from synthetic oil drawn into the aircraft’s onboard air supply via an industry-standard system of air bleed sucked in through a passenger jet’s engines.


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Nick Holdsworthhttp://nickholdsworth.net/
Our regular critic. Journalist, writer, author. Works mostly from Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.

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Toxic travels

CAPITALISM: How safe is the air we breathe on commercial airline flights?

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