German government says toxic cabin air is an EASA issue

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A German cross-party parliamentary committee that heard evidence on aircraft cabin air contamination last September has voted that the problem is reported so rarely that no further action needs to be taken on it. Following publication of this verdict, a German government spokesman has said that the issue is a "European" responsibility.

"At the moment there is no need for action," said the statement issued by the Deutsche Bundestag. It admitted the issue is one that has been known for many years, but pointed out that during the three million take-offs a year in Germany "only a few" incidents of cabin air contamination are reported, the committee's statement said.

The statement reports that committee members from the two parties that form Germany's coalition government, the Christian Democrats and Liberal Democrats, voted for the verdict that nothing further needed to be done.

MPs from the Social Democrats and the Green Party, however, wanted commitment to a comprehensive programme of cabin air measurement, and further study to establish the connection between air contamination and human health.

The Green Party, says the Bundestag statement, wants to see the replacement of turbine engine oil additives that are known to produce organophosphate neurotoxins in cabin air conditioning systems, and the ultimate replacement of engine bleed air systems for cabin air supply with air compressors specific to the pressurisation task, as in the Boeing 787.