The UK Government, through the 2000 House of Lords Inquiry into contaminated cabin air, called for research "to refute the 'common allegations' and give public confidence with regard to cabin air quality".
No call for a genuine inquiry to find out whether the air actually does get contaminated, then? Apparently not.
Anyway, the result of that call for refutation has been the Cranfield University report (see the immediately preceding blog), which said that the highly neurotoxic chemical tricresyl phosphate was detected in cabin air, but at levels that are legally acceptable.
Apparently these neurotoxins are politically acceptable as well, because Transport Minister Theresa Villiers has welcomed the report.
Dr Susan Michaelis, just back from the Aerospace Medical Association's annual meeting in Anchorage, where she presented her PhD "Health and Flight Safety Implications from Exposure to Contaminated Air in Aircraft" , has this to say about the Cranfield report:
"The study is completely contradictory as it clearly identified the organophosphate TCP - from the engine oil additives - at concerning levels in the cabin air, but dismissed this as all satisfactory.
"It is anything but OK. By dismissing the significance of the findings [of TCP in the cabin air], the government can follow its public position that they do not need to study the health of the people who have been exposed to contaminated air.
"TCP was clearly identified as neurotoxic in the 1930's and again in the 1950's, so they have long known how toxic the substances found are, but this report has just ignored all the science. The government considers it acceptable to expose people to TCP, but following my PhD studies I can assure you it is not.
"This report confirms that, in normal aircraft flight, people are being exposed to TCP, the organophosphate from the engine oil."
Cranfield ran tests on 100 flights and, if its definition of reportable events has any credibility, there were no "reportable level" fume events during its trial. What use was it, then?