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Eight years ago, British Airways pilot Karen Lysakowska hung up her wings due to ill health. She begged management to look into the issue of fumes in the cockpit, which she felt may have made her sick. Lysakowska even considered legal action, but she developed cancer, reports the British paper, The Mirror, and gave up the crusade. Last week, she died.
That might have been the end of that saga. But another British Airways pilot, Richard Westgate, above, died last month, a year after grounding himself. And he advised his lawyers to sue the airline for violating health and safety guidelines. They say "aerotoxic syndrome" could be the "new asbestos."
The Aerotoxic Association, founded in 2007 by a group of airline workers who say that their careers ended prematurely because of the syndrome, claims that 30,000 airline pilots are currently grounded because of the condition.