An emerging concern: Toxic fumes in airplane cabins

Harrison, Virginia and Mackenzie Ross, Sarah J. (2016). An emerging concern: Toxic fumes in airplane cabins. Cortex, 74 pp. 297–302.



Toxicology is a new science, the complexities of which have been highlighted in the papers contained within this special section. Our understanding of the mechanisms through which various chemicals interfere with nervous system function is constantly evolving and research is unable to keep up with the speed with which new chemicals are produced and put onto the market. Thus there are often controversies surrounding the health-effects of commercially available compounds and disagreement around what constitutes safe exposure limits. This article will introduce readers to an emerging concern in this field, the potential risk to health of toxic fumes in airplane cabins. We explore the challenges and methodological issues encountered by researchers who have tried to investigate this issue and highlight the need for further research on this topic. We hope this article will promote discussion amongst academics and clinicians, and lead to the identification of creative solutions to the methodological issues encountered to date.

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