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Issue 5, 2011
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Organophosphates in aircraft cabin and cockpit air—method development and measurements of contaminants

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Abstract

Methods for measurements and the potential for occupational exposure to organophosphates (OPs) originating from turbine and hydraulic oils among flying personnel in the aviation industry are described. Different sampling methods were applied, including active within-day methods for OPs and VOCs, newly developed passive long-term sample methods (deposition of OPs to wipe surface areas and to activated charcoal cloths), and measurements of OPs in high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) recirculation filters (n = 6). In total, 95 and 72 within-day OP and VOC samples, respectively, have been collected during 47 flights in six different models of turbine jet engine, propeller and helicopter aircrafts (n = 40). In general, the OP air levels from the within-day samples were low. The most relevant OP in this regard originating from turbine and engine oils, tricresyl phosphate (TCP), was detected in only 4% of the samples (min–max <LOQ–0.29 µg m−3). TCP was however detected in 39% of the wipe samples (n = 56) and in all HEPA-filters. Other OPs, as dibutylphenyl phosphate (DBPP) and tri-n-butyl phosphate (TnBP) originating from hydraulic oils were more prominent in the samples, illustrated by determination of TnBP in all of the within-day samples collected from airplanes (n = 76, min–max 0.02–4.1 µg m−3). All samples were collected under normal flight conditions. However, the TCP concentration during ground testing in an airplane that had experienced leakage of turbine oil with subsequent contamination of the cabin and cockpit air, was an order of magnitude higher as compared to after engine replacement (p = 0.02).

Graphical abstract: Organophosphates in aircraft cabin and cockpit air—method development and measurements of contaminants

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Dec 2010, accepted on 09 Feb 2011 and first published on 14 Mar 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00763C
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2011,13, 1393-1403
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    Organophosphates in aircraft cabin and cockpit air—method development and measurements of contaminants

    K. Solbu, H. L. Daae, R. Olsen, S. Thorud, D. G. Ellingsen, T. Lindgren, B. Bakke, E. Lundanes and P. Molander, J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 1393
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00763C

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