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Furry pet allergens, fungal DNA and microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) in the commercial aircraft cabin environment
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
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2013 (English)In: Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, ISSN 2050-7887, Vol. 15, no 6, 1228-1234 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There has been concern about the cabin environment in commercial aircraft. We measured cat, dog and horse allergens and fungal DNA in cabin dust and microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) in cabin air. Samples were collected from two European airline companies, one with cabins having textile seats (TSC) and the other with cabins having leather seats (LSC), 9 airplanes from each company. Dust was vacuumed from seats and floors in the flight deck and different parts of the cabin. Cat (Fel d1), dog (Can f1) and horse allergens (Equ cx) were analyzed by ELISA. Five sequences of fungal DNA were analyzed by quantitative PCR. MVOCs were sampled on charcoal tubes in 42 TSC flights, and 17 compounds were analyzed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) with selective ion monitoring (SIM). MVOC levels were compared with levels in homes from Nordic countries. The weight of dust was 1.8 times larger in TSC cabins as compared to LSC cabins (p < 0.001). In cabins with textile seats, the geometric mean (GM) concentrations of Fel d1, Can f1 and Equ cx were 5359 ng g(-1), 6067 ng g(-1), and 13 703 ng g(-1) (GM) respectively. Levels of Fel d1, Can f1 and Equ cx were 50 times, 27 times and 75 times higher respectively, in TSC cabins as compared to LSC cabins (p < 0.001). GM levels of Aspergillus/Penicillium DNA, Aspergillus versicolor DNA, Stachybotrys chartarum DNA and Streptomyces DNA were all higher in TSC as compared to LSC (p < 0.05). The sum of MVOCs in cabin air (excluding butanols) was 3192 ng m(-3) (GM), 3.7 times higher than in homes (p < 0.001) and 2-methyl-1-butanol and 3-methyl-1-butanol concentrations were 15-17 times higher as compared to homes (p < 0.001). Concentrations of isobutanol, 1-butanol, dimethyldisulfide, 2-hexanone, 2-heptanone, 3-octanone, isobutyl acetate and ethyl-2-methylbutyrate were lower in cabin air as compared to homes (p < 0.05). In conclusion, textile seats are much more contaminated by pet allergens and fungal DNA than leather seats. The use of seats with smooth surfaces should be encouraged. The MVOC levels differed between cabin air and homes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 15, no 6, 1228-1234 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-203691DOI: 10.1039/c3em30928bISI: 000319668900013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-203691DiVA: diva2:637363
Available from: 2013-07-17 Created: 2013-07-17 Last updated: 2017-03-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Self-rated health and respiratory symptoms among civil aviation pilots: Occupational and non-occupational risk factors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Self-rated health and respiratory symptoms among civil aviation pilots: Occupational and non-occupational risk factors
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is concern about the indoor environment in aircraft but few stud-ies exist on self-rated health (SRH) and respiratory symptoms among pilots. Occupational and non-occupational risk factors for SRH, respira-tory symptoms and other symptoms among commercial pilots were investigated in this thesis. One cohort study and one prevalence study were performed among pilots in one Scandinavian airline company. Fungal DNA, furry pet allergens and volatile organic compounds of microbial origin (MVOC) were measured on board. Cat (fel d1), dog (Can f1) and horse (Ecu cx) allergens were found in all dust samples and allergen levels were 27-75 times higher in aircraft with textile seats as compared to leather surfaces. The sum of MVOCs in the cabin air was 3.7 times higher than in homes in Uppsala and 2-methyl-1-butanol and 3-methyl-1-butanol concentrations were 15-17 times higher. Asper-gillus/Penicillium DNA and Aspergillus versicolor DNA were more common in aircraft with textile seats. One fifth reported SRH as poor or fair, 62% had fatigue, 46% overweight/obesity and 71% insomnia. Poor or fair SRH was associated with overweight/obesity, lack of exercise, insomnia, low sense of coherence (SOC) and high work demand. Re-covery from work was worse among those with insomnia and low social support at work. Fatigue was more common among young or female pilots and related to insomnia and high work demand. Pilots flying MD80 or Saab 2000 aircraft had less fatigue. Pilots exposed to environmental tobacco (ETS) on board had more eye symptoms and fatigue which were reduced after the ban of smoking (in 1997). Pilots with increased work demand developed more rhinitis, dermal symptoms and fartigue and those with decreased work control developed more eye symptoms. The incidence of doctors’ diagnosed asthma and atopy were 2.4 and 16.6 per 1000 person years, respectively. Pilots changing type of flight got more airway infections. Those reporting decreased work control had a higher incidence of atopy. Risk factors in the home environment included ETS, dampness or mould, window pane condensation in winter and living in houses built after 1975. In conclusion, SRH and respiratory health among pilots are associated with specific occupational and non-occupational risk factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 79 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1323
Keyword
Civil Aviation, Aircraft pilot, Indoor environment, Self-rated health (SRH), Respiratory health, Asthma, Rhinitis, Headache, Fatigue, Insom-nia, Body mass index (BMI), Sense of Coherence (SOC), Psychosocial work environment, Quantitative PCR, Fungal DNA, Volatile organic compounds of microbial origin (MVOC), Cat allergen, Dog allergen, Horse allergen
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-318806 (URN)978-91-554-9880-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-05-22, Frödingsalen, Ulleråkersvägen 40, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-04-28 Created: 2017-03-28 Last updated: 2017-05-05

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Fu, XiLindgren, TorstenGuo, MoranCai, Gui-HongNorbäck, Dan

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