The Global Cabin Air Quality Executive (GCAQE), a UK non-profit organisation representing air crew and consumers, that deals with contaminated air issues and cabin air quality, has launched the ‘Clean Air Campaign’. The campaign calls upon regulators and governments globally, to mandate the introduction of effective ‘bleed air’ filters and contaminated air warning sensors on passenger aircraft.
To support their campaign the GCAQE has released a brief educational film in over 40 languages. They have also released a short animated film explaining the basics of the air supply system on aircraft. Both films are available at the GCAQE Clean Air Campaign page.
The GCAQE campaign is supported by representatives of over one million aviation workers, from the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the European Cabin Crew Association (EurECCA).
According to GCAQE, over the last 20 years there have been over 50 recommendations and findings made by 12 air accident departments globally, related to contaminated air exposures on passenger jet aircraft. The organisation states that commercial aircraft should be fitted with contaminated air warning systems to notify passengers and crews when the air they are breathing is contaminated.
GCAQE says there is a design flaw in the way the breathing air supply on all passenger jet aircraft (except the Boeing 787) is supplied. The breathing air is provided to passengers and crews unfiltered directly from the compression section of the engines or from the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), the small engine in the tail of the aircraft. This is a process known as ‘bleed air’ because it is ‘bled’ from the hot compression section of the engine. The ‘bleed air’ is not filtered and GCAQE says it can be contaminated with synthetic jet engine oils and hydraulic fluids.
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