German parliament investigates that bad smell in the cabin

The German parliament is the third national administration to investigate the aerotoxic phenomenon, otherwise known as cabin air contamination. In 2000 the Australian Senate did it and concluded there was a real issue, then the British upper chamber the House of Lords, which also decided the problem should be taken seriously.

Now, according to my sources who were present during the Bundestag committee hearing two days ago, initially sceptical members of parliament from several parties were amazed at the weight of evidence showing that cabin air contamination is a serious threat to passenger and crew health, and also at the fact that the industry has no counter-arguments at all: just denials.

Mind you, denials are clearly quite enough for the European Aviation Safety Agency. When presented with the scientific evidence that neurotoxic organosphosphates from engine oil are frequently released into aircraft cabins via bleed air fed to the air conditioning and pressurisation systems, EASA turned to the manufacturers and airlines and manufacturers and said “Is this true?” The industry, of course, said “No!”, and that was enough for EASA.

Reassuring, isn’t it, that our ultimate aviation safety watchdog is taking care of our safety so assiduously? And the airlines too?

As German member of parliament Markus Tressel said to the committee, the airlines’ protestations that passenger safety is their top priority can no longer be taken seriously.