Have you heard of "aerotoxic syndrome"? If you're like most of us, the term is completely new. But a search for that term will return 108,00 results on Google.
The term was coined in 1999 by Dr. Harry Hoffman, a former US Navy flight surgeon, Prof Chris Winder, a toxicologist at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, and Jean Christophe Balouet, a French environmental forensics expert, who claimed that breathing air in an airline cabin could be toxic.
This week, the Telegraph newspaper reported that a coroner in the U.K. has warned that exposure to toxic fumes in plane cabins pose a health risk to frequent fliers and aircrew. British coroner Sheriff Stanhope Payne urged British Airways and the Civil Aviation Authority to take "urgent action to prevent future deaths", after the death of British Airways pilot Richard Westgate.
Westgate died in December 2012 at the age of 43. For years he suffered from health problems, including severe headaches, mental confusion, sight problems and insomnia, he believed were caused by toxic fumes leaked into the cabin air.