Fumes Onboard Aircraft
Jun 25, 2019 —
Poisonous fumes onboard aircraft continue and the UK Government continues to deny there is a problem. The airlines continue to keep the problem of fumes onboard their aircraft under wraps by silencing their employees and the regulator (CAA) is doing nothing.
More fume events than ever have been reported to us this month and many of these incidents caused injury to the airline crews and passengers and led to many of them going to hospital. (The full list of Fume Events will be published at the end of this month).
This paper by the COT (Commission on Toxicity) is what the UK Government state is their position on Toxic Air In Aircraft:
‘With the technology that is available, peak concentrations of such short duration would be difficult to detect for many pollutants, unless the increases above background were extremely large.’
‘These findings were taken into account in the design of a subsequent air- sampling study (Institute of Environment and Health, 2011a/b), although quality assurance was still less than desirable.’
‘For the types of aircraft studied, and in the absence of a major fume event, airborne concentrations of the pollutants that were measured in the study are likely to be very low (well below the levels that might cause symptoms) during most flights. The data do not rule out the possibility of higher concentrations on some flights (only a limited sample of aircraft could be tested), or of higher concentrations of other pollutants that were not measured.’
‘No major fume events occurred during the sampling. Only a limited range of analytes were measured, although retained gas chromatography traces would allow assessment of others if required. Visual inspection suggested that in the absence of a major fume event, there was little correlation between pollutants in the temporal fluctuation of airborne concentrations (i.e. they did not all tend to go up or down at the same time). However, this was not examined by formal statistical methods.’
....and this, dear friends is why toxic, contaminated air in aircraft is still happening today.
This UK Government department (COT) believe that it is acceptable for those who work onboard aircraft and the millions who travel onboard aircraft annually to be continually exposed to harmful chemicals. They also believe it’s an acceptable practice to have to visit a hospital if you work on an aircraft or fly on one as a passenger and suffer a Fume Event.
(Low level contamination occurs in aircraft all the time even when there is not an obvious ‘Fume Event’.)
The paper above by the COT (link) is used by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority - Airline Regulator) to state:
‘In recent years some people have expressed concerns about possible health effects due to exposure to contamination of cabin air, particularly contamination of the air drawn from the engines by engine oil. A considerable amount of research has been undertaken in a number of countries and in 2007 the Department for Transport asked the independent Committee on Toxicity to conduct a review of the evidence.
The Committee concluded that the evidence available did not establish a link between cabin air contamination and ill health but made some recommendations for further research. Following additional Government funded research, the Committee reviewed the latest research and published their conclusions in December 2013. The Committee members thought it unlikely that the long-term illnesses that have been reported are linked to a toxic effect of cabin air contamination. You can read the full report on the Independent Committee of Toxicity's website.
Further information and cabin air quality data ‘
‘Long term ill health due to any toxic effect from cabin air is understood to be unlikely, although such a link cannot be ruled out.’
* Why do the CAA and UK Government believe it is an acceptable practice for airline crews and passengers to be exposed to toxic fumes onboard aircraft - when the CAA state that a link to long-term ill health cannot be ruled out?
* Fume events are not ‘rare occurrences’ as suggested. Passengers and crew are constantly being assessed at hospitals following exposure to fumes onboard aircraft.
* Low level contamination exists on every bleed-air aircraft. It is now known that these toxins can accumulate in the human body with repeated exposure. Some people suffer serious injury from just one exposure. Many of the toxins released into aircraft cockpits and cabins are carcinogenic others are neurotoxins (even at low level, these are harmful to human health). Therefore, why has no precautionary principle been applied to protect those who may be more vulnerable, in particular children, the elderly and those who are more susceptible to harm due to their genetic make-up?
* There is NO MONITORING of toxic contamination of any kind on any aircraft.
* No one knows the full extent of toxic contamination produced during a Fume Event onboard an aircraft because it has never been recorded or measured.
* To state that the illness and deaths caused by toxic air in aircraft could be caused by a ‘nocebo effect’ is incredibly insulting to those who suffer with the illness (Aerotoxic Syndrome - caused by toxic fumes and low level contamination in aircraft) and have lost their careers and have had to make considerable lifestyle changes, more so to those who have to cope with the loss of their loved ones on a daily basis.
* The COT should be looking into the number of deaths and illness of crew and former crew at major British Airlines over the last 20 years - in particular from Cancer, Brain Tumours, Suicide, Depression, Heart failure, Cardiac Arrest, Cardiomyopathy - the list is endless.
To keep repeating the same mantra regarding studies commissioned by the UK Government (including the flawed study by Cranfield University- funded by the Aviation Industry) is now totally irrelevant and is no longer acceptable.
People have died, people are ill and more are becoming ill and dying and sadly many of them will never make the connection between their illness and the aircraft they flew on which possibly caused that illness because the UK Government does not believe airlines should be legally obliged to inform passengers when they have been exposed to harmful chemicals during a Fume Event.
It is a cover up on a massive scale. A cover up protecting a multi billion pound industry. It all began decades ago at Boeing with a flawed design for bleed-air in aircraft cabins which has been allowed to continue and never rectified.
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