Nanomedicine and Nanoscience Research (ISSN: 2577-1477)

review article

Is a Cumulative Exposure to a Background Aerosol of Nanoparticles Part of the Causal Mechanism of Aerotoxic Syndrome?

C. Vyvyan Howard1*, David W.  Johnson2, John Morton3, Susan Michaelis4, David Supplee5, Jonathan Burdon6

 1Centre for Molecular Biosciences, University of Ulster, UK

2Department of Chemistry, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, USA

3Chairman European Sealing Association, France

4School of Health Sciences, University of Stirling, UK

5International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, Missouri

6Consultant Respiratory Physician, Melbourne, Australia

*Corresponding author: C. Vyvyan Howard, Emeritus Professor, Nano Systems Biology, Centre for Molecular Bioscience, University of Ulster, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK. Tel: +447917284918; Email:

 Received Date:  18 January, 2018; Accepted Date: 31 January, 2018; Published Date: 07 February, 2018

1.  Abstract

We present strong evidence for the presence of aerosols of Nano-particles (also termed Ultrafine Particles (UFPs) in aerosol science) in the breathing air of pressurized aircraft using engine bleed air architecture. The physical and chemical nature of engine oils and the high temperatures attained in aircraft jet engines (up to 1,700°C in the oil circulation and up to 30,000°C in the bearings) explain why UFPs are to be expected. A discussion of oil seals used in gas turbine engines concludes that they will permit UFPs to cross them and enter the breathing air supply, in conjunction with a complex mixture of chemicals such triaryl phosphates which are neurotoxic. A consideration of the toxicology of Nano-particles concludes that their continual presence over a typical working lifetime of up to 20,000 hours in aircrew will predispose them to chronic respiratory problems and will exacerbate the translocation of neurotoxic substances across the blood brain barrier.

2. Keywords: Aero Gas Turbine Engines; Aerotoxic Syndrome; Aircraft Cabin Air Quality; Nano-Toxicology; Neurological Disease; Oil Seals; Particulate Aerosols; Respiratory Disease; Bleed Air

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