Frequently Asked Questions

General

What results can we expect from FACTS?
This research project aims to identify the substances emitted during fume events and normal flight conditions and their impact on cabin air quality (CAQ) in terms of health risks. Additionally, the project aims to develop dedicated assessment methodologies for a better understanding of possible health risks. The results are applicable at population level; they will not provide answers at an individual level. The project is designed to contribute to the world-wide debate around cabin air quality (CAQ), but not to provide absolute answers on the causal relationship between exposure to cabin air and reported health effects
Is research on fume events needed?
It is still largely unknown which chemicals are present in the cabin air during fume events. Exposure to fume events can have health risks. Research is therefore still needed. FACTS is not only about more research, it will also look at possible mitigation strategies to avoid or reduce the occurrence of fume events.
Does FACTS measure during real fume events in airplanes?
Fume events are characterized by their infrequent and non-predictable occurrence; therefore it is not possible to use a ‘wait and measure’ strategy to capture these real fume events. This research project therefore will first measure evoked contamination events during flight in airplanes. With a bleed air conditions contamination simulator (BACCS), these contamination events will be simulated on the ground to facilitate the identification and investigation of chemical compounds and toxicity testing.
Why does FACTS not consider human studies or people that are reporting health problems?
The research project uses an innovative approach to gain as much as achievable information within our resources. This has led to an experimental approach using aircraft engine simulations, and mostly animal-free toxicity tests to gain a better understanding about cabin air quality and possible health risks. Without a full understanding of the substances present in the cabin air and possible related (mechanisms of) diseases, deliberately exposing human volunteers would be highly inappropriate. Due to the complexity of the composition of cabin air, an experimental approach is favored over an observational epidemiological study.
What is the composition of the FACTS project team?
The team consists of experts from research institutes, governmental organization, university and industrial organizations. The involvement of industry of importance for this research project for the knowledge and availability of aircraft environmental control system (ECS), turbine technology and a test aircraft. An independent scientific committee of reputed experts has been set-up in order to guarantee that the work performed adheres to the highest scientific standards.
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