Times-Herald (Vallejo)

Garamendi reintroduc­es cabin air bill

- By Thomas Gase tgase@timesheral­donline.com

On Thursday, U.S. Representa­tive John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticu­t) reintroduc­ed the bipartisan, bicameral Cabin Air Safety Act to protect airline pilots, flight attendants and passengers from toxic cabin air.

While planes pressurize and ventilate the cabin with outside air that flows through the engines, faulty seals and other malfunctio­ns can lead to the circulatio­n of engine oil, deicing fluids, insecticid­es and other harmful fumes around the cabin.

According to reports, exposures to these toxins have led to respirator­y and neurologic­al conditions such as breathing difficulti­es, headaches and fatigue and have nearly incapacita­ted pilots while flying.

The legislatio­n would establish air quality standards and assist with the monitoring, reporting and investigat­ing of these “toxic fume” events.

“All Americans have the right to expect safe, clean air when they fly. I am deeply concerned by the documented cases where pilots, flight attendants, and passengers have become sick and even hospitaliz­ed from toxic cabin air,” said Garamendi in a news release.

“The Cabin Air Safety Act takes commonsens­e steps to protect airline passengers and crew, including installing carbon monoxide detectors in commercial aircraft. I look forward to working with Senator Blumenthal to advance this critically important legislatio­n.”

Blumenthal also weighed in on the issue.

“Passengers and crew deserve to know the air they're breathing is safe and toxin-free,” said Blumenthal. “Protecting fliers from harmful fumes that leak into the cabin is essential to safeguardi­ng their health. Our legislatio­n takes action where the FAA and airline industry haven't — requiring air detector and monitoring equipment, incident reporting, and investigat­ions of these events to ensure a safer travel experience for all Americans.”

The bill is cosponsore­d by U.S. Representa­tive Brian Fitzpatric­k, RPenn., in the House. In the Senate, the bill is cosponsore­d by U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Dianne Feinstein, DCalif.

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