A public enquiry is being called for following at least 19 reported cases in the past 30 days alone of toxic cabin air and fume events on passenger jets.

Just days ago Spanish low-cost airline Vueling evacuated passengers onto the runway via emergency slides in Barcelona after thick smoke filled the cabin of their Airbus A320 aircraft.

While three weeks ago in Honolulu, Hawaii thick smoke filled the cabin of a brand new Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A321 with passengers and crew escaping the smoke via emergency slides.

The month of August also saw passengers and crew onboard a British Airways Airbus A321 breath in thick white smoke that filled the cabin.

Image: Twitter @lucyabrown

Mounting evidence suggests that contaminated cabin air could lead to serious long-term health problems – with the phenomenon described as “aerotoxic syndrome”.

The Unite union, which represents airline staff, claims pilots is now calling on the airline industry to clean up its act by using safer oil to lubricate jet engines and fitting cabin air filters onboard aircraft.

Unite assistant general secretary for legal affairs Howard Beckett has made a statement to the media explaining that “the airline industry cannot continue to hide from the issue of toxic cabin air whilst placing the health and safety of aircrew at risk”.

Image: www.aerotoxic.org

“Independent expert evidence concludes that air onboard jet planes can contain a toxic mix of chemicals and compounds that potentially damage the nervous system and may lead to chronic irreversible health problems in susceptible individuals,” he said.

“We need a public inquiry into the extent of fume events and toxic cabin air”.

Unite assistant general secretary for legal affairs Howard Beckett

“The airline industry must start to take responsibility and clean up the cabin air on jet planes by using safer oil to lubricate jet engines and fitting cabin air filters onboard planes.”

You can follow updates on toxic air incidents at www.aerotoxic.org.