IAF’s aerospace toxicology lab comes up in B’lore

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Bangalore, Aug 12:The Aerospace Toxicology Laboratory set up by the Indian Air Force has become the new addition to the host of scientific facilities in Bangalore.

The facility, set up in the premises of the Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM), aims to conduct exclusive scientific research in the field of aerospace toxicology. Air Marshal A K Behl, director general, medical sciences (Air), said the new facility would help conduct root analysis of aircraft-related accidents.

Dr Arvind K Chaturvedi, Adjunct Professor, University of Oklahoma Health Centre and Graduate Facility, while delivering the ‘Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee Memorial Oration’ at the IAM recently, said aerospace toxicology deals with studying the various adverse effects of drugs, chemicals and contaminants on humans flying within or outside the atmosphere.

The lab will have multiple utility as it can even cater to the needs of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), which has in the pipeline a human space project, feasibility studies for which have already begun.

Useful for aviators

Noting that toxicology also helps address the effects on aviators, Chaturvedi said the basic components of combustion toxicology and post-mortem forensic toxicology could be easily applied in resolving or addressing applicable issues associated with aviation.

In his abstract on ‘Aerospace Toxicology: An Emerging Multidisciplinary Field of Medical Science,’ Chaturvedi said this can be done after an analysis of combustion gases and drugs in blood and other biological samples collected from pilots who suffered fatal injuries in accidents/incidents. The new lab will come in handy in conducting these analyses.

Pointing out that economic, environment, forensic and combustion toxicology are branches of toxicology, he said the subject is of tremendous importance for any Air Force as such findings might be helpful in establishing whether the inhalation of these fire gases and or the use of drugs by pilots were cause or factor in those accidents.

Something the Indian Air Force, which has lost over 50 fighter and fixed wing aircraft due to crashes, can use.

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