The possible effects on health, comfort and safety of aircraft cabin environments

J R Soc Promot Health. 2001 Sep;121(3):177-84. doi: 10.1177/146642400112100315.


A consultation was undertaken to investigate the views and concerns of stakeholders in the aircraft industry about the possible harmful effects on personal health, comfort and safety of aircraft cabin environments. Stakeholders were identified from a variety of sources including Government agencies, the Internet, House of Lords inquiry, and suggestions of interviewees. They represented: aircraft crews, aircraft constructors and engineers, government departments and authorities, holiday/flight companies, insurance companies, non-governmental organisations, occupational health physicians, passenger representatives, and independent researchers and consultants. Eighty-seven were contacted of which 57 were interviewed over the telephone using a semi-structured questionnaire. Their concerns were transcribed into a standard format and analysed qualitatively. Key stakeholders, along with Government officials, were invited to a workshop to discuss and prioritize the issues raised during the interviews. The main concerns expressed by the participants fell into five main areas: deep vein thrombosis, air quality, infection, cosmic radiation, and jet lag and work patterns. In addition, a number of safety concerns were raised as well as comments on the provision of appropriate advice to passengers. It was generally felt that further research was required on each of these subjects, as well as an improvement in the quality, quantity and availability of information provided for passengers prior to boarding a flight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects*
  • Aircraft / standards*
  • Bacterial Infections / etiology*
  • Cosmic Radiation / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Jet Lag Syndrome / etiology*
  • Public Health
  • Quality Control
  • Risk Assessment
  • Safety
  • United Kingdom
  • Venous Thrombosis / etiology*