As if flying didn’t already make you nervous: Air quality aboard commercial jets can be hazardous to passenger’s health and the airlines, but federal regulators have done little to address the problem, according to a report released yesterday by a panel of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The report said the systems for collecting health data about cabin air quality “are woefully inadequate,” making it hard to establish clear connections between health complaints and cabin air. Areas of concern for passengers and flight crews include cabin pressure, ozone and carbon monoxide levels, and possible exposure to pesticides and fumes from engine oil, hydraulic fluids, and de-icing liquid. Panel members recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration begin a thorough investigation of the problem and assess whether to impose tougher air quality regulations on the industry.
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