M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Posts Tagged ‘safety

Boeing concerned about contaminated air as early as 1953

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A quarter-million pages of Boeing Co. documents made public as part of a court settlement reveal that the company has had concerns about the safety of cabin air in commercial jetliners since 1953, my colleague Jim Gold reports today.

A former American Airlines flight attendant is believed to be the first person in the U.S. to settle a lawsuit against Boeing over what she claims is faulty aircraft design that allowed toxic fumes to reach the cabin.

Boeing acknowledged the settlement, the terms of which weren’t disclosed, saying it “still contends that cabin air is safe to breathe and studies by independent researchers have consistently shown that existing systems for providing cabin air to passengers and crew meet applicable health and safety standards.”

But stricken airline crews and their advocates say faulty “bleed-air” systems — which pump compressed air “bled” from the plane’s engine — have been causing health problems dating back to the takeoff of jet travel in the 1950s.

In severe cases, they say, exposure to the toxic fumes has cost afflicted pilots their jobs when they lost medical clearances and kept flight attendants from working. Moreover, passengers aren’t informed what they may have breathed, Gold reports.

Full story (Jim Gold/msnbc.com)

Written by Alex

October 6, 2011 at 9:41 am

Posted in Open Channel

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