A report on Management of risks of exposure to Aviation Fuels- Toxicology and Occupational Hygiene

Home, - Management of risks of exposure to Aviation Fuels

Management of risks of exposure to Aviation Fuels


In this digitized world, everything is running at the speed of light. Everyone wants to reach out early for either business or personal purposes. The aviation industry is achieving high traffic on a routine level. Hence airports are increasing in numbers and existing ones are expanding to meet new horizons. This gives more exposure to aviation fuels in the vicinity of airport areas. The population dwelling on outskirts of the city and around the airport is affected by toxic aviation pollution caused due to hydrocarbon fuels. The complex hydrocarbon fuels that are used in tonnes everyday cause severe health impairments globally. Every day hundreds of flights take off and land in a particular landscape. Jet Airways, Fighter Jets, Commercial flights, and helicopters, personal Jets etc are increasing aviation traffic. The fuels that burn on a daily basis emits CO, NO, CO2, NO2, NO3, Heavy water, complex hydrocarbon compounds etc. in gaseous form. They mix with other particles in the atmosphere and create air pollution to toxic levels. 



To get optimum results in speed and average of aircraft, heavy metals and hydrocarbon fuels are used on a regular basis. Fighter Jets give out maximum toxic gases that are harmful to human and animal wellbeing. Jet Airways use organic fuels and hence they aren't the root for generating halogenated hydrocarbon compounds. They are the source for generating carcinogenic compounds that can spread nasal or respiratory tract or lung cancer by transmitting such cells through atmosphere. When comparison was made between Jet fuels and diesel fuels no major difference was noticed. One spreads toxic compounds creating air pollution and other one spreads carcinogenic compounds. Both are equally harmful for human habitat. It is mainly hazardous for community living around airport area. They are constantly in contact with toxicity in atmosphere. The food they eat, air they breathe and even water they drink carry a minimal amount of dissolved hydrocarbon compounds or heavy metal components. Once entered in the system, it is very difficult to get rid




To cater to the needs of thousands of aviation industries and air force base units, tonnes and tonnes of aviation fuel is extracted from natural resources every year and is stored in huge storage tanks. For its maintenance and daily usage, millions of people are appointed round the globe. They are exposed to this toxicity round the clock. Military personnel and civilians suffer from this toxic environment in the long run. The aviation activities related to fuel exposure are transportation, storage units, fueling up the engines, ground level tests, performance analysis, cold engine start, maintaining and operating other appliances and machinery on the airport and air force grounds etc. In each and every above-mentioned procedure, there are millions of workers appointed every year. In critical environmental conditions where abrupt changes in temperature are noticed, severe repercussions are developed by use of aviation fuels. In a deserted region where temperature rises above 100 degrees, certain fuels tend to evaporate and mix with the environment. This vaporized form is much more harmful than its liquid form.


Evaluation of exposure:


There are millions of workers assigned for job postings nationwide in the aviation industry. The generation of fuel waste and proximity within I'm the region of fuel storage is faced by them throughout their working hours. For the workers and generals acquainted with work profiles related to aviation, fuel management is generally in contact with aviation fuel in the following manner:

Exposure via skin: Storage units and tanks are generally covered with high quality think fibre contents that refuse to the diffusion of toxic components. Workers are advised to wear their uniform and cover maximum body part they can with gloves and rubber shoes. But every system has its glitch, even if a small dermal region is exposed to liquid fuel for more than a few minutes then it can enter your body via the skin and start damaging vital organs. 

Exposure via respiration: this is the worst way toxic pathogens can enter the human body. No matter how many precautions are taken, one can't stop breathing. When exposed to such vaporized form of fuel or aerosol emulsion of fuel, one has to face severe consequences. This state of fuel has high volatility and low water solubility rate. It is hazardous to health if exposed for a long duration of time. Toxic components like toluene and xylene get deposited in the respiratory tract and get absorbed in blood vessels from there itself. If the rate of decomposition is less than the rate of absorption than it may result in fatal respiratory diseases. 

Exposure by oral means: it is quite indefinite if toxic fuel components enter the human body through oral means. This depends on the fractional absorption of toxic components on food and water particles. The solubility of hazardous fuel wastes plays a major role in this type of exposure. It affects kidneys, liver, sperm counts, fertility rate, ovulation cycle etc. To take measures against this one, proper food packaging and filtering of water and other beverages are strictly recommended


The usage of fuel in the aviation industry can't be reduced due to the traffic that is observed on a daily basis. Hence to reduce adverse effects of such toxic fuel combustion can be obtained by controlling the toxicity in the environment. Following steps might help in the reduction of air pollution:

Cross ventilation system should be introduced while designing storage cells for heavy metal fuels. This reduces contamination of toxic components in one place.

The exposure is not limited to inhalation of such gases. Hence remedies must be taken for oral and dermal exposure to such toxicity. This can be obtained by providing essential life jackets and helmets to cover the entire body and cover the head as well. Bare skin should be avoided from getting exposed to liquid fuel and the vaporized form must not dissolve in food packages.

Air Force committee must not send the same group of employees for a longer time in fuel exposed region. Rotations in work shifts must be conducted.

Health checkups are mandatory for employees who are exposed to fueling and refuelling of aircraft and other machinery. Health insurance must be provided by the aviation industry. 

Reduce the use of fuels that are not stable in abrupt climate conditions. Fuels that gets evaporated and convert to vapour or aerosol forms must not be used on regular basis.



The conventional methods are not sufficient to cater to the hazardous threat. Aviation industries have to operate on modern trends to solve the toxicity issue in environment. The civilians in the vicinity of airports and air force bases must take precautionary measures and keep them safe from any sort of exposure to harmful gaseous and aqueous waste obtained from fueling and refueling of aviation appliances and machinery. 

Leave a comment


Related :-