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Aircraft Cabin Air Quality Trends Relative to Ground Level Standards

  • James E. Cone
Chapter
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Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 4H)

Abstract

Aircraft cabin air quality has attracted much attention, summarized recently by a detailed examination and commentary by a U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee. Ventilation of aircraft has several significant variables that require control measures that are seldom of concern for occupied space at ground level. The principal of these special requirements are the need to compensate for the substantial difference between cabin and outside pressures, the much lower available space per occupant in aircraft cabins, and the need for coping with more extreme external temperatures than are common at ground level. The breadth of these concerns is of interest in the policies and regulatory aspects of a number of agencies which are briefly described, and their roles and areas of potential interest outlined. Types of possible contaminants are listed, and the limits which have been set by several of these agencies for many of these potential contaminants are tabulated. In addition recent measured aircraft cabin concentrations of several key contaminants are listed. This chapter provides an overview of the general air quality variables affecting enclosed space to enable these to be related to the special needs of some of the less common enclosed spaces described in the following chapters.

Air contaminants Gases Vapors Aerosols Particulates Physical parameters Infective agents  

Abbreviations

ACGIH

American conference of governmental industrial hygienists

ASHRAE

American society for heating, refrigeration and air conditioning engineers

CFU

colony-forming unit

ECS

environmental control system

EPA

U.S. environmental protection agency

FAA

federal aviation act

FAR

federal aviation regulation

HEPA

high efficiency particulate air [filter]

MSDS

manufacturer(s) safety data sheet

NAAQS

national ambient air quality standard

NAS

national academy of sciences

NACOSH

national advisory committee on occupational safety and health

NASA

national aeronautics and space administration

NRC

national research council

OSHA

US occupational safety and health act

PEL

permissible exposure limits

SARS

severe acute respiratory syndrome

SEALS

submarine escape action levels

SMACs

spacecraft maximum allowable concentrations

STEL

short term exposure level

TLV

threshold limit value

TWA

time weighted average

VOC

volatile organic compounds

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Authors and Affiliations

  • James E. Cone
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental and Occupational Disease EpidemiologyNew York City Department of Health and Mental HygieneNew YorkUSA

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