Title: Aircraft contaminated air: a brief outline

Authors: Susan Michaelis

Addresses: Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK

Abstract: Aircraft bleed air supplies contaminated by engine oil dates back to the early 1950s. Aircraft and engine/APU design utilising unfiltered bleed air to supply the breathing air in aircraft explains the mechanism by which the air supply routinely becomes contaminated with low levels of a complex mixture of jet oils and hydraulic fluids in normal operation. Exposure to these contaminants is increasingly recognised as a flight safety issue as well as an occupational health problem, with impairment in flight not uncommon. Maintenance investigation techniques are less effective in identifying the more frequent low level oil leakage events with repeat events occurring. Over the last two decades, there have been an increasing number of international activities looking into bleed air contamination. It is necessary for the aviation industry to take a closer look at fume events linked to the supply air and introduce mitigating strategies.

Keywords: bleed air; oil leakage; fumes; cabin air contamination; synthetic lubricants; cabin air quality; CAQ.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSA.2022.10047170

International Journal of Sustainable Aviation, 2022 Vol.8 No.3, pp.249 - 259

Received: 05 Jan 2022
Accepted: 07 Mar 2022

Published online: 27 Jul 2022 *

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