YOUR plane oxygen mask might not just be giving out oxygen – and instead be letting you breathe in "chemical dust".

Aircraft do not have oxygen canisters on board and instead have a chemicals which burn and react to create oxygen, with the chemical "dust" likely to be breathed in through the masks.

Oxygen tanks are both heavy and bulky, and would take up too much space on a plane.

Instead, there are chemicals stored in the overhead lockers which instead react to produce oxygen when the masks are pulled on.

This can include barium peroxide, which is used in fireworks, sodium chlorate, often used in weedkiller, an iron oxide or potassium chlorate.

In an emergency situation, the chemicals burn and react which produces the oxygen, providing up to 15 minutes of oxygen for each passenger.

Arch Carson, an occupational health expert at The University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston previously explained why it isn't just oxygen you're breathing.

He said to the Huffington Post: "You might get some small bits of chemical dust."

However, he added that it was better than the "alternative" which is passing out due to a lack of oxygen.

The amount would be small enough that it also won't be toxic.

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