Senate Introduces "Toxic Cabin Air" Bill
In mid-April, Boeing will face the first ever jury trial involving claims that it defectively designed its older aircraft in ways that failed to protect pilots, crew, and passengers from the risk of "toxic cabin air" events. Now, just weeks before the start of that trial, Senators Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and John Garamendi (D-Calif.) have introduced a bipartisan-sponsored bill in the Senate, entitled "Cabin Air Safety Act of 2022." In a press release, Sen. Feinstein's staff highlighted continued "troubling reports" of fume events, where cabin air "can become contaminated by engine exhaust, fuel fumes, de-icing fluids and ozone entering the cabin through the jet engine intake." As Sen. Blumenthal explained, the legislation is intended to "protect the flying public and crew," lamenting that "the FAA and aircraft manufacturers are ignoring this health hazard even after concerning reports of flight crews becoming sick as a result." The legislation would require training for pilots and crew on how to identify smoke and fume events, create a reporting and investigation system within the FAA, and direct airlines to install monitors for identifying when air has been contaminated.