PhD thesis

by Kasper Flatland Solbu

Airborne Organophosphates in the Aviation Industry. Sampling development and occupational exposure measurements.

The thesis is available for download from Digital publications at UiO (

Summary of thesis:
Over the last decade there has been a growing concern for health hazards associated with possible exposure to organophosphates (OPs) in occupational air in areas such as the aviation industry. OPs have for instance been suggested as major contaminants of concern in airplane cabin air due to reports of contamination incidents with leakage of turbine oil from the engines. The present thesis has therefore demonstrated development of new methodology for air sampling and measurements of OPs in the aviation industry in general.

OPs originating from hydraulic and turbine oils have been detected in occupational air to personnel in the aviation industry on a selection of aircraft models. Although exposure measurements showed low OP air levels for most of the investigated work tasks performed by technician and loaders, some work operations were identified with potential for exposure to increased OP air levels. Low levels of OPs were also found in cabin air. However, cabin air measurements performed subsequent of an incident with contamination of turbine oil to the cabin air, revealed a potential for substantially higher OP contamination in cabin air during such incidents.

This work was carried out at the National Institute of Occupational Health, Norway.

Dissertation for the Degree of PhD 2011 (defence of thesis was on May 6th 2011)

The thesis is based on the following papers:

Methodology for air sampling of organophosphates originating from turbine- and hydraulic oils, 2007:
Incident sampler for sampling of VOCs and volatile organophosphates, 2010:
Exposure measurements of organophosphates in technician and loader occupational air, 2010:
Organophosphates in aircraft cabin and cockpit airómethod development and measurements of contaminants, 2011: