Toxic thoughts

What happened to the debate on contaminated cabin air?

Incidentally, I don’t mean the issue of selecting an excess of recirculated air in the cabin to save fuel by reducing engine bleed, I mean toxic fumes from bleed air that have partially incapacitated crews and, in some cases, robbed them of their health and their licences.

Since we began reporting in depth on the subject the only responses we have received have praised our coverage.

I cannot believe that all the regulators, all the transport departments, all the manufacturers, all the individuals who engaged in a vigorous debate on PPRuNe relatively recently – many alleging the subject is bunkum and only wimps get affected by fumes anyway – have been convinced, overnight, by our revelations. All we’ve done, with the help of experts, is to reveal stuff that’s been out there for ages and put it together in one place.

It would be amazing if we had convinced them, because they hadn’t listened to anyone else before, however eminent they were and however powerful their arguments.

So where are you all hiding? Let’s hear it from the “it’s all bunkum” brigade!

What’s more, let’s hear it from the passengers who wonder why, after flying one day, they got chronic fatigue syndrome (no – not jet-lag) and took ages to get over it.


4 Responses to Toxic thoughts

  1. Liz Simmons 22 June, 2008 at 2:51 am #


    My husband, a long term flight attendant for a major United States AIrline, has been, since 2007, incapacitated from long term low dose exposure to contaminated bleed air.

    On his last trip in October, and after a few months of him becoming more and more tired, and complaining of feeling ill, he called me from the hotel, and said he was so out of it, he couldn’t even get out of bed to iron his shirt for the next day.

    Then when he came home the next day, he had such a bad headache, I took him to the hospital. Not knowing about aerotoxic syndrome, he told the Doctors’ that he felt “Poisoned”.

    Well….months later….countless Doctor appts with every specialty….and presenting these Doctors with all the Books written about Aerotoxic…… he is still not being helped.

    I really think that even with all the information given to the Doctors’, they think that this is something “all in your head”.

    It is not. He is very intelligent, and he took a neuropsych test. The report showed that although his intelligence was above average, his executive functioning, and short term memory were very bad.

    We believe that here, in the United States, there seems to be a huge coverup of this issue. No reports on the news, nothing.

    Every night I spend at least an hour on the internet looking for help for him, but to no avail.

    Funny though….everyone was surprised that he received long term disability with “no questions asked”.

    Why is this not talked about in the United States???????

    I have emailed all the major News Stations, the website to Toxic Airlines, and…. WHY are they not reporting on it????

    Oh…but in the United States..when the FEMA trailers that were supplied to the Hurricaine victims were found to be toxic…it made world news…

    Bewildered wife
    United States

  2. John Hoyte 27 June, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    The Aerotoxic Association ( has been gathering independent testimonies from aircrew and passengers over the past 12 months. Here are two typical examples of the many on record.

    A typical pilot letter:

    I am a Captain for an airline in United States. I have worked for them for about four years now. I was on medical leave from June of XX until December of XX and many sick calls after that. They believed at first that I was having anxiety attacks then it moved on to heart problems then onto asthma where I was able to get my medical back. Taking steroids and rescue inhaler is still not cutting it. I am still having medical problems. I have trouble breathing, constant fatigue and depression. I started having chest tightness, breathing problems, depression, anxiety, numbness of limbs and shaking problems about two years ago while I was an First Officer for this company.
    Before, I started flying the XXXXX I was in great health given I’m only twenty six years old. I play sports all my life was never tired never had breathing problems. Well after company give me problems with sick calls and threats of termination I really started to research my symptoms and I came across your site. I was wondering what type of medical test I could take to confirm this. What I could do to prove this? What type of information you have including studies that have been done. I am going to study the systems of aircraft I really could understand this since we can smell the de icing fluid, some times oil, and none of this is filtered. This is also never mentioned in the United States and if I am experiencing the same sickness I want to bring to attention of every pilot in the United States.

    Thank you
    A Frustrated and Sick fellow pilot

    A typical passenger letter:

    I have spoken to you on phone 28/4/08 at 8pm regarding the Panorama toxic free airline program, I had been to Turkey and returned on 29/9/06 , after returning I had to go to the doctor with what I thought was a chest infection and a bad cough (crackling in lungs) The doctor examined me and everything seemed normal, I made a 2nd visit as I still had same condition, I asked him if it was possible that I could have picked up a bug on airline on returning from holiday, he said this was unlikely.

    I felt my condition worsening over the next few weeks , which resulted in x rays being carried out , these came back normal cough left but I was left with an inner breathless in my chest and stared suffering fatigue symptoms, I then had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy which a camera investigations, which all came back normal , I spoke with a specialist and he diagnosed depression or chronic fatigue syndrome, the reason for the depression they told me was due to a family bereavement 6 months prior to the holiday, however within my own mind I knew I was dealing with this bereavement.

    As time has gone on, the fatigue has worsened considerably and I have several blood tests done which have all came back clear. This is my current health situation which is affection my day to day living. Everything seemed to fall into place when I watched the program regarding all issues, the plane that I flew on was a Boeing 757 aircraft (night flight) and it was from Dalaman to Glasgow.

    What I am desperate to find out is what within my system is making me so ill. I saw it on the pro gramme people in the process of claiming compensation, this is not my concern but the reason of my poor feeling and health and I am contacting you to see if you can help me find the answers. I was at my GP and explained to him about the program and he wasn’t aware this condition, it said on the program me that blood tests could be taken to find out which toxins are in my system.

    Can you please advise me, I would be grateful?

    Please feel free to send more testimonies to and visit for helpful advice and unique support.

  3. Anonymous 4 July, 2008 at 10:29 am #

    I’m in the “it’s definitely not bunkum” brigade, being an Aerotoxic Sydrome sufferer.

    Public awareness of this problem is increasing and this can only be a good thing, as crew and passengers, many who have been sick for years are now working out why, usually without the help of GPs who are mostly unaware of this problem, or airlines that flatly deny any problem with their air quality.

    If you suspect you’ve been affected, do your own research, and talk to organisations like the Aerotoxic Association who are working on this issue and can offer advice. Expect to be told that it’s only you that has reported these health problem (so stop complaining), it’s all in your head, or that you’re suffering from depression or stress.

    The government-funded research looking for a link between contaminated air and long-term health problems is still managing not to get any results, and I believe this problem will only get fixed if the travelling public start voting with their feet, forcing the airlines to clean up their act.

    Keep up the good work David.

  4. Liz Simmons 10 July, 2008 at 4:35 am #


    Thank You John, for your representation of letters that have been submitted to your site My husband is a member of your site. I truly wish that would post all of the letters on your site for all to read, not just for the members. We NEED to show the voices of this condition in numbers. Thank You

    We, here in the United States DESPERATELY need to make this issue known to the Major News Stations. We need them to watch- Welcome Aboard Toxic Airlines.

    Like the previous poster, I agree that you and your comrades have been doing a great job! Without you, and your information, we would have been lead down the “It’s all in your head”, or you have “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” trail…..

    We are also anxiously awaiting for Dr.Clement Furlong to come up with a test that will detect biomarkers of organophosphates, which will give conclusive evidence that our loved ones have been exposed to neurotoxins.

    I am not an expert- just have a laymans understanding of this condition. Feel free to correct me if I make a mistake.

    Please take a look at FAA.ORG. If you do some digging, under the section of Mechanical Reports, you will see over and over again…the filter being replaced on the Auxillary Power Unit, because it was SOAKED WITH OIL. Remember these are the reports that ARE written.

    The reports state the Part Number for the filter, and I’m willing to bet, that the filter manufacturer loves the business. Remember, a tired engine whose seals are leaking, will lead to oil being burned, and the fumes drawn into the cabin air. We all know what this is like when we put oil in our car engine…if we get a few drops of oil on a hot engine…what happens?

    Please, anyone from the United States…..POST YOUR ISSUES! Get it in writing on the internet! Write to your news stations. The UK and Australia have helped educate us, and together we all can make this terrible issue known.

    My husband misses his job. He loves to fly! Yet, he is spending almost everyday just trying to get by. He has to write everything down, lest he forget.

    I am not against the Airlines. I just want them to install proper filtration, and correct this issue.

    United States, UK, Australia, and the rest of the world together,

    Make Bleed-Air organophosphate contamination KNOWN to all.