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Toxic fumes in aeroplane cabins present a clear and real risk to human health, with airline workers particularly vulnerable to developing illnesses as a result of exposure.

According to a landmark 2015 coroner's report into the death of pilot Richard Westgate, airline workers such as stewards, pilots and other cabin crew must realise that the toxic environment of airliners causes "consequential damage to their health".

If you have suffered ill health as a result of working as aircrew, the compensation solicitors at Seth Lovis & Co could help you make a claim. We are London-based, but can assist you wherever you may be located across the country.

Aerotoxic syndrome

The 2015 report represented the first recognition from a UK official of the condition known as "aerotoxic syndrome"; something that has long been recognised by pilots and other cabin crew and has even been blamed for a number of deaths.

The phenomenon arises in commercial passenger planes as a result of compressed air from the engines intermingling with that which is used to pressurise the cabin, a situation which frequently results in excess oil particles being inhaled by passengers and crew alike; and although this fact can be damaging to passengers with underlying health conditions, it is frequent fliers, and cabin crew in particular, who are at the most pronounced risk.

In his "prevention of future deaths report", Stanhope Payne, the senior coroner for Dorset, said that the examination of Richard Westgate's body "disclosed symptoms consistent with exposure to organophosphate compounds in aircraft cabin air".

His report was then sent to BA as well as the chief operating officer of the Civil Aviation Authority. It raised a number of matters of urgent concern, including the danger presented by organophosphate compounds in the air of aircraft cabins. Exposure to fumes leads to "impairment to the health of those controlling aircraft [which] may lead to the death of occupants" it stated.

Around the same time of the report it was revealed that compensation solicitors were acting for around 50 airline crew who claim to have developed aerotoxic syndrome as a result of exposure to harmful fumes while working for a variety of employers, including Etihad, Cathay Pacific, Thomas Cook and easyJet.

"They can't keep brushing this under the carpet," said the claimants' compensation solicitor.

He continued, "There are major crashes where we suspect the only plausible explanation is that the crew were suffering from cognitive dysfunction. More commonly, it causes incredible misery — very fit, intelligent and motivated people fall over sick. The first thing BA and other airlines have to do is recognise and take care of their injured aircrew."

Airline worker compensation claims

If you have developed an illness as a result of exposure to toxic fumes or other hazardous substances in your workplace, Seth Lovis & Co's specialist compensation solicitors could help you claim compensation for your injuries and any lost earnings.

Our lawyers could help you receive compensation through an industrial injury claim and ensure that any funds awarded go towards improving your quality of life.

We specialise in all areas of industrial injury litigation. We act for clients who suffer from a wide range of industrial conditions including deafness, workplace, asthma, vibration white finger and industrial dermatitis.

To contact a member of our specialist team, please call us today on 0808 252 0678 or fill in your details online so that we may call you back.

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