Toxic Fume

Toxic Fume

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  • Normal flight. A diverse group of passengers are board the plane. Show flight attendants assisting. 
  • Take off in progress and narrator lists explains how toxic fume happens. "When flying at altitudes higher than 8,000 feet, airplanes need to pressurize the interior cabins to allow passengers to breathe normally. Most jet-propelled airplanes achieve this pressurization by “bleeding” a small percentage of highly pressurized air from within the engines into the air circulation of the internal cabin.  Bleed air isn't always fresh, clean, air. Sometimes lubricating oil or other chemicals can be pulled into the bleed air and fed directly into the aircraft cabin. The additives in these products can degrade and become converted into a fine mist or fumes that becomes part of the air in the cabin. This is called a toxic fume event. 
  • A toxic fume event can be experienced differently. Some people describe it as old cheese, dirty socks, musty or moldy. Some people will taste metal. It may make people nauseous, give them a headache, burn their eyes, and make breathing difficult.
  • If you think you've experienced a toxic fume event let your cabin crew know. Then send an email to AIR@CUPE.CA and we'll send you back important information for next steps you should take.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms. At least be sure to mention the event to your health provider during your next visit. 
  • There are several options for airlines to prevent toxic fume events from occuring. Unfortunately none of them are mandated and as a result few airlines have implemented them. For more information on toxic fume events and what to do if you experience once, visit CUPE._______________
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