Skeptic Society discuss polluted air in aircrafts

Horsham Skeptic Society at their meeting with Dr Susan Michaelis
Horsham Skeptic Society at their meeting with Dr Susan Michaelis

Horsham Skeptic Society held a meeting to discuss the history of a problem with aircraft that has remained unresolved for over sixty years.

The group met at Broadbridge Heath Village Centre Social Club on Monday, October 19, to hear from guest speaker Dr Susan Michaelis.

Dr Michaelis is a leading expert in the field of aircraft air quality and received a PhD following her work into the health and safety implications that can occur following the inhalation of bad air on aeroplanes.

Members who attended the event originally lived up to the groups name with a number of the talk’s aspects being called into question.

Dr Michaelis said: “People often find it difficult to comprehend what is going on. The fact that this has been going on for over 60 years without any action being taken is just incredible and it is pretty shocking when you first hear about it.

“One gentleman argued that surely this was only a problem for flight crews but I pointed out that while some people may feel no effect others can feel really sick after inhaling the chemicals just once and if the pilots are impaired then safety is certainly reduced.”

Horsham Skeptic Society has been meeting regularly for many years and enjoy discussing a number of topics ranging from science and journalism to gender issues.

Event organiser, Mark Davies said: “‘In the intimate surroundings of the B.B H. Social Club, Susan gave an engaging and quietly passionate talk to the Horsham Skeptics about a subject obviously close to her heart.

“The subject of the talk, oil leakage into the body of aircraft, which apparently has caused untold illness to aircraft crew and possibly passengers, caused considerable interest from and disquiet amongst the audience. Afterwards Dr Michaelis answered a series of thoughtful questions for fully 45 minutes and eventually had to be stopped short as the venue was due to close.’”

If you would like to find more about The Horsham Skeptics more information on upcoming events can be found at Alternatively further details on Dr Michaelis and her work can be found at or

Report and picture contributed.