Human symptom responses to bioeffluents, short-chain carbonyls/acids, and long-chain carbonyls in a simulated aircraft cabin environment

In this study, 36 female subjects were exposed to eight hours of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) often found in aircraft. Female subjects were selected as prior studies have shown that women are more likely to report air quality symptoms when traveling. The subjects rated symptoms and environmental quality for three groups of compounds prevalent in aircraft cabins: (1) short-chain carbonyls and organic acids, (2) long-chain carbonyls, and (3) simulated bioeffluents. Symptoms reported included eye, nose, or throat irritation; nose running, dry, or blocked; lips or mouth dry; skin dry; eyes smarting, dry, or aching; and headache. Exposure to long-chain carbonyls had little to no effect on symptom ratings. Exposure to simulated short-chain carbonyls, organic acids, or bioeffluents resulted in reports of reduced air quality and symptoms related to mucous membrane irritation, dryness, and headache. A temporal analysis of symptoms over time is also discussed. It is suggested that ventilation standards for airplanes increase focus on addressing compounds that cause the most symptoms and consider individuals sensitive to air pollutants.


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  • Accession Number: 01685184
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 8 2018 5:23PM