|Title||Ozone levels in passenger cabins of commercial aircraft on North American and transoceanic routes|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|Authors||Seema Bhangar, Shannon Cowlin, Brett C Singer, Richard G Sextro, William W Nazaroff|
|Journal||Environmental Science and Technology|
Ozone levels in airplane cabins, and factors that influence them, were studied on northern hemisphere commercial passenger flights on domestic U.S., transatlantic, and transpacific routes. Real-time data from 76 flights were collected in 2006–2007 with a battery-powered UV photometric monitor. Sample mean ozone level, peak-hour ozone level, and flight-integrated ozone exposures were highly variable across domestic segments (N = 68), with ranges of <1.5 to 146 parts per billion by volume (ppbv), 3−275 ppbv, and <1.5 to 488 ppbv-hour, respectively. On planes equipped with ozone catalysts, the mean peak-hour ozone level (4.7 ppbv, N = 22) was substantially lower than on planes not equipped with catalysts (47 ppbv, N = 46). Peak-hour ozone levels on eight transoceanic flight segments, all on planes equipped with ozone catalysts, were in the range <1.5 to 58 ppbv. Seasonal variation on domestic routes without converters is reasonably modeled by a sinusoidal curve that predicts peak-hour levels to be approximately 70 ppbv higher in Feb−March than in Aug−Sept. The temporal trend is broadly consistent with expectations, given the seasonal cycle in tropopause height. Episodically elevated (>100 ppbv) ozone levels on domestic flights were associated with winter−spring storms that are linked to enhanced exchange between the lower stratosphere and the upper troposphere.