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His report, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, is the first official UK recognition of so-called “aerotoxic syndrome”, a phenomenon long denied by airlines but which is blamed by some for the deaths of at least two pilots and numerous other incidents where pilots have passed out in flight. Co-pilots can normally take over, but campaigners claim the syndrome is a suspected cause of some mid-air disasters.
This wasn’t always the case. Until the 1970s, aircraft cabins were well ventilated with fresh air drawn through the engine intakes and pumped into the cabins. Then major airlines decided to cut back on ventilation with fresh air as a way of reducing fuel costs. Ironically, the move to banish smoking from the skies contributed to the problem by reducing the need to refresh cabin air more frequently. As a result, colourless and often odourless VOCs are left to linger in aircraft cabins. The VOCs emanate from people, cosmetics, perfumes, food, plastics, polymers, solvents, fuels, lubricants (especially hydraulic fluids), exhaust gases taken aboard during ground operations, cleaning products, and other compounds. Read more at www.readersdigest.ca...
Commercial passenger planes have a system which compresses air from the engines and uses it to pressurise the cabin. But it can malfunction, with excess oil particles entering the air supply.
Bob Bowden, Florida contributor to e-cigarette-forum.com, raises the question whether e-cigarettes, apart from avoiding smoking and future lung cancer risk, actually confers immediate short term positive benefits, by reducing the risk of its users inhaling live viruses and bacteria from room air. This is mind-blowing enough, but could its possible benefits also protect others close by? Is the e-cigarette more than a tool for reducing harm? Is it also potentially a talisman to ward off infection?
That propylene glycol (PG) may protect users of the e-cigarette from airborne bacterial and viruses dates back to World War II. ‘Air Germicide’, a story in Time magazine Nov 16, 1942, reported the research of Dr. Oswald Hope Robertson at Chicago's BillingsHospital. He showed that half a part per million of PG in air could kill bacteria and viruses in that air within seconds. He found PG could protect mice from influenza virus, and that monkeys could well tolerate living in air containing PG. On the face of it, e-cigarette users might indeed be better off.
E-CIGARETTE USE - COULD IT PROTECT US ALL FROM THE NEXT PANDEMIC?
Murray Laugesen - Public health physician www.healthnz.co.nz
Even in the twentieth century, the therapeutic use of tobacco did not completely lapse. For example, in 1924, a salve made of burned tobacco leaves mixed with lanolin was said to be dessicant, stimulant and antiseptic for pruritus, ringworm, athlete's foot, superficial ulcers and wounds (it was also said to be good as a metal polish).17 Moreover, its disinfectant properties continued to generate debate. We have seen how, in the New World discovered by Columbus, tobacco smoke was used to ward off disease, and the sixteenth century doctors applied the leaves or a tobacco ointment or poultice to infected wounds. During the London plague of 1665 children were instructed to smoke in their schoolrooms;28 and in 1882, in a Bolton outbreak of smallpox, tobacco was actually issued to all the residents of a workhouse.29 However, claims for such protective effects did not go indisputed. For example, in 1889 an anonymous article in the British Medical Journal,30 whilst acknowledging the experimental evidence that the pyridine in smoke kills germs and the evidence that smokers appeared to be at lower risk of diphtheria and typhus, concluded that people who can tolerate tobacco are likely to be robust in other ways and thus able to resist infection; non-smokers, the article concluded, would be ill advised to take up smoking, which would make them more vulnerable. An anonymous article in The Lancet31 in 1913 discusses the ‘pyridin’ content of tobacco smoke and describes experiments showing that tobacco smoke destroys the comma bacillus of cholera; but again it warns that tobacco smoking can ‘give rise to constitutional effects which diminish the resisting power of the body to disease’. Later in the twentieth century, attention switched to diseases affecting the brain and nervous system. In 1926, Moll reported that, when thirteen patients with post-encephalitic parkinsonism were treated with subcutaneous injections of nicotine, nine showed immediate improvement in muscular movement.32 He concluded that, although the benefit was only temporary, ‘the immediate results were indisputable’. A kindred observation is that, in at least three case-control studies, the relative risk of Parkinson's disease was lower in smokers than in non-smokers, though other factors could be operating to produce this apparent effect.33 Case-control studies also suggest a possible inverse association between cigarette smoking, Alzheimer's disease34 and Tourette's syndrome,35 but the same reservations apply.