From John Saxon:
I agree with 'Beer Fan' BALPA is as guilty as the industry on this massive corportae cover-up.The guy 'Beer Fan' refers to is Tristan Lorraine, ill health retired from the World's favourite airline by the CAA.A BALPA lady once said to me he wasn't looking after the financial needs of the industry...Well forgive me lady but my health comes first and he gets my vote. God bless.Let's also not forget the AAIB. They are also guilty as charged. I have written 39 Air Safety Reports in the last 12 years about being gassed against my will and they have rang me ZERO times... Enough said :)
AirSpace - more than just hot air
The following statement comes from the final report of the 1999/2000 Australian Senate Inquiry into the cabin air issue.
I am aware that the pilot concerned was medically retired soon after this event in 1997 & has never flown since, now some 12 years later. The pattern of ill health at the time & thereafter was little different from the rest of us & a pattern which many call 'Aerotoxic Syndrome'. I am also aware of others like this. I can talk , whereas most won't, however the data is there if you know where to look or want to look.
2 1997 - Brisbane incident5.31 The Committee has been told of an incident in 1997 when a pilot experienceddifficulty landing a BAe 146 in Brisbane. The information concerning this incidentwas set out in a confidential submission to the Committee and it is not possible toprovide complete details of the incident without identifying the pilot involved.However, the pilot made the following statement in the confidential submission: As we were preparing to land in Brisbane I experienced a feeling like drunkenness and I had difficulty lining up the aircraft for landing. I did not tell my first officer how I was feeling and did not hand over to him because I was not aware of the extent of my incapacity. 245.32 This statement went on: After I became ill and established to my satisfaction the link between my condition and exposure to the fumes from Mobil Jet Oil II, I deemed it appropriate to submit a report to the Bureau of Air Safety Investigations (BASI) in respect of the episode on or about …. 1997 when I was caused to feel drunk by exposure to the oil fumes. I am now aware of the fact that certain other pilots have experienced the same or similar special disorientation sensations. … I point out that the symptoms I experienced on or about … have safety implications potentially so grave that my professionalism demands they be acknowledged at the highest levels.25
Two really informative and well produced videos on this subject can be found at the following:
Plusminus production as of 3rd February 2009
Plusminus production as of 24th March 2009
Two more really informative videos from King 5 News in Seattle:
The first video is titled; "Do you know what you're breathing at 30,000 feet?" and the second is titled; Mystery illness sickens airline passengers, crews.
Comment from David Learmount:
If you have been hoodwinked by the silence of airlines and aircraft manufacturers into believing the toxic cabin air allegations are bunkum, look at what toxic air does to real people. These are only two video clips. There are plenty of others. These people are only shaking, however disturbing their condition may be. Other people have their lives ruined by permanent tiredness that makes them unable to work or even socialise. They risk losing their jobs and becoming outcasts because society thinks they are just lazy.Professor Clem Furlong, at Washington University, is the only scientist in the world who is doing the kind of research that will blow the airlines' case out of the water. The airlines allege the fumes are harmless at the doses that occur. Furlong has been starved of funds, but his work is slowly progressing, and when it is complete he will publish the results for peer review. I don't know how soon that will be, but I know Prof Furlong, who has presented his methodology and his reasons for pursuing the issue at one of our Crew Management Conferences (Brussels, 2007), will finally give the lie to all the denials when he is satisfied he has positively identified the presence of tricresyl phosphate in people's bodies, what the dose is, how it bonds with human protein, and the neurological effects it has.Roll on that day, because it can't come soon enough. And then the airlines and manufacturers will roll out their lawyers, like the tobacco industry once did, still denying what everybody knows is true.
I am yet another poisoned pilot. Health wrecked, career over. And all because of industry placing profit before safety. How many more of us have to come forward before this problem is fixed?
A recent story on King 5 News Seattle can be found here:
Airline passengers try to find answers after falling ill
Some interesting news on this issue as Quest International and BAE Systems have come up with a solution that they msay will sterilise recirculated air and eliminate tocins from engine bleed air. So in many ways they have fixed an issue that they didn't even previously admit was a problem.
David Learmount has more to say on the matter in his latest blog post - http://bit.ly/45lnzl
Learmount's blog has, several times, addressed the subject of the contamination of bleed air supplied to aircraft cabins by toxic organophosphates. Now Susan Michaelis, already the author of the Contaminated Air Reference Manual, is appealing for those who have suffered - or believe they have done - from illness related to cabin air contamination, to get in touch with her. http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/learmount/2009/10/toxic-cabin-air-appeal-has-you.html
10 Days ago I travelled on an Airbus A319 to Faro. My partner and I sat in row 1A &1B and on entering the cabin noted a faint oily smell, similar to that in a motor vehicle gearbox. After engine start, during take off and climb the smell became much stronger and was noticeable to me and my partner. The cabin crew appeared unaffected and we therfore didnt comment on the smell. During the flight I became light headed and had slight breathing issues and eye irritation. My partner seemed ok. The smell appeared to disspipate but returned during descent.
Within 2-3 hours of arriving in resort both me and my partner felt extremely drained with very little energy and the need to sleep. I felt as though I was going to fall asleep during lunch and had to force myself to stay awake, so drowsy that my speech was apparantly a little slurred. I felt sick and generally unwell for the rest of the day and not quite right for the 4 days away. The return flight was also an Airbus A319 through the same carrier although newer and no smell on entering the cabin or at any stage during the flight. We again sat in seat 1A 1B.
Since return to the UK I have felt completely drained even though back for a week now. I seem to get weakness in my legs and arms which feel shakey, slight eye irritation and very cloudy head similar to feeling drunk and a pressured feeling in my head,whick makes it difficult to concentrate/focus. I generally have 4 breaks per year which is obvuiously an average of 8 flights per year. I have a preference to fly on Airbus Aircraft, normally A320/A321 although have on occaision flown on B757. I have noted being unwell after a 757 flight but at the time had no idea it could be caused by the aircraft.
Prior to 2003 I was extremely healthy and now having read about the toxic cabin air issue am a little concerned that health problems experienced for several years after an A320 flight in 2003 and this more recent flight could be detrimental to my health. In 2003 I boarded an A320 flight at Las Palmas and it absolutley stunk of the wet dog/sick type smell on boarding. With no prior experience when a passenger seated next to me asked what the smell was I said,"Dont worry proberbly just the air conditioning" refering to the issue as the same as car air conditioning when it requires refreshing. The smell remained for the entire flight and as I wasnt looking for a problem gave it little or no thought. For years after this flight I had muscle pains, joint pains, headaches, high blood pressure, dizzy spells, palpatations, serious sinus problems etc. Hospital tests only identified blood pressure issues something never experienced before. In the last 2 years most issues have subsided.
Any health advice would be appreciated. As would advice on the risks associated with further travel and precautionary measures, ie charcoal masks, aircraft to avoid etc. It is clear that this issue is ignored or side-lined by the Airline industry,government etc even though it can have a serious impact on flight and cabin crew and in certain circumstances can endanger an aircraft. Clearly the fare paying public and airline staff deserve better. People should be made aware of the risks in order to make an informed decision about taking that all important flight.
Any views appreciated
Thanks you for the post.
I'll edit a post I made some time ago on the pprune website which relates to this thread.
"I spent over ten years(and 5500 hrs) as a captain on the older 146 aircraft and although it had many good features one of it's worst ones was the quality of the air in the cabin pressurisation system. During the period I was flying it I suffered more colds with flu-like symptoms, (and a persistent cough) than at any other period in my life . I returned to Boeing 737 aircraft after that and almost immediately my health began to improve. Since later losing my medical (late onset and unexplained epilepsy) and retiring from flying I have taken up simulator instruction as a new career. Now I virtually never suffer from colds or similar ailments at all! I attribute the extremely poor air quality on the 146 to two factors-
1. The high leakage rate through the engine oil seals into the bleed air.2.The requirement to recirculate a high proportion of the cabin air to compensate for the inadequate thrust/bleed air from the engines (every 146 pilot knows how underpowered this aircraft is!)Quite often apon initially starting a day's flying on the 146 it was common to start the APU and then select the highest possible cabin temperature in an attempt to try and "burn off" the residual deposits in the ducts before the rest of the crew and passengers boarded the flight! (I've since been told that this was completely the wrong thing to do, but at the time this was what we were advised to do by engineering!)
Although the 146 and the Boeing 757 were known to be the worst offenders in the "dirty air" club I'm sure that eventually all new large aircraft will follow Boeing's lead and revert to indirect cabin pressurisation-- nothing new really-- the good old DC8 had cabin turbo compressors roaring away in the nose. (The downside of those was that most pilots ended up with with significant hearing loss!)"
I've also been in contact with Susan Michelis but due to the time elapsed since I last flew the 146 it would now be very difficult to prove "causation" My epilepsy is now controlled by medication (after considerable experimentation by various neurologists--thanks NHS!) but I remain convinced that the years of breathing contaminated air in the 146 probably caused my problem.