On December 24, 2008 passengers onboard an Alaska Airlines flight bound for Burbank, California were exposed to deicer fumes. Flight 528 to Burbank, CA was being sprayed down with a glycol de-icing fluid when passengers started complaining of eye irritation, and difficulties breathing due to the fumes. Little information has been provided to passengers regarding the toxicity of this substance.
Alaska Airlines uses ethylene glycol to deice its aircraft. It does not use the less toxic propylene glycol deicer. Ethylene glycol is toxic and dangerous to breathe in a mist or heated form,which is the form in which they entered Flight 528. When heated or misted, the product has produced rapid, involuntary eye movement and coma. It may cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness and drowsiness. Pulmonary edema and central nervous system depression may also develop.
Various factors cause health concerns for the passengers on Flight 528. The deicer solution was misted. Passengers immediately complained of nausea, vomiting, and eye irritation. Finally, it appears that passengers were exposed to the fumes for at least 45 minutes, if not longer. The passengers have a right to know what was in the chemical that they inhaled and its side effects. Those vapors should never have entered the cabin.