Neurological Damage Allegedly Linked to Toxin Exposure on Aircraft


Aerospace Expert

This case involves a child who suffered severe neurological damage from inhaling toxic fumes that entered an aircraft cabin on a commercial flight from Chicago to Seattle. The air used to pressurize the aircraft cabin of the plane was redirected from the engines. Because of a maintenance issue, an engine leak escaped through a broken seal causing toxic fumes to be released into the cabin. The child is unable to perform basic tasks at the same level she did before exposure to the toxic fumes. An aerospace engineering expert was sought to speak to the proper steps and airline should take to fix and report this issue.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please briefly describe your experience with the engineering of airplane motors.
  • 2. Are you familiar with this issue?

Expert Witness Response E-101757

I am an assistant professor of mechanical engineering technology with industrial, academic, and research experience related to air quality and air cooling technologies in buildings and aircraft. I received my Ph.D. in mechanical engineering with a focus on air quality investigation inside aircraft cabins. My doctoral research specifically investigated ways to improve the air quality inside a wide-body jet aircraft cabin mockup. There is a plethora of monitoring equipment that can help identify the level of certain TCPs and alert the controller.I have published 5 articles related to airplane cabin air quality and its controlling variables. I have investigated the quality of air supplied to the airplane, which we call bleed air. I am very familiar with the process of TCP and how it can be transferred into the airplane, passenger, and pilot cabins. There have been many studies and reports published showing the various exposures to TCP and other chemicals and contaminations, but no solutions have been proposed besides increasing the flow rate circulation inside the aircraft and increasing the fresh air. I have been involved in federal aviation projects and reviewed data bases for similar cases.

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