Project Title: In-flight Measurements of Cabin Air Quality
Anticipated Outcome: Assessment of overall cabin air quality of aircraft during nominal operation.
Project Summary: Harvard School of Public Health (FAA-funded) is collaborating with Battelle Laboratories (ASHRAE-funded) on an inflight/onboard monitoring study. The objective of this project is to understand the relationships among environmental conditions of the cabin (as well as other factors) and the perceptions of health and comfort of passenger and crew members. Airlines have been recruited, study protocols and surveys developed, and onboard assessments have been conducted.
HSPH developed an on-board sampling system (see picture) that passed EMI testing at Boeing Corporation in 2008. Preliminary data were collected on-board Singapore Airlines flights during 2008 and additional data were collected in 2009 on 39 Southwest Airways flights. The in-flight sampling consisted of collecting continuous environmental measurements of ozone, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, temperature, relative humidity, pressure and sound level. Integrated samples were collected for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbonyls and semi-VOCs. Passenger and crew comfort surveys were distributed during the last third of the flights. Experimental data have been used to develop a comfort/health model that will help answer research question as well as direct the targeted efforts of the future activities of this work. Analyses of the data are continuing.
John D. Spengler, Harvard School of Public Health
Eileen McNeely, Harvard School of Public Health
Ann Louise Sumner, Batelle Memorial Laboratories