In aviation the most typical sources of CO are exhaust from: internal combustion engines; aircraft turbine engine exhaust and APU exhaust. Although odourless and tasteless, CO produced from these sources will usually be mixed with other compounds, gases and vapours that can be detected through smell and taste.
Whilst on the ground, CO produced externally can enter cabins and flight decks. It is also possible that exhaust gasses from other aircraft (e.g. positioned in front whilst taxiing or waiting for departure) can enter unfiltered via the bleed-air and air-conditioning system.
Finally a first move has been made by easyJet, who announced (last September) their intention of fitting a new type of filter to avoid contamination - however, they still deny that there is any long-term health injury possible and generally are quoted to say :
“EasyJet is working with Pall (ed = filter manufacturer) to identify and reduce incidents' of unusual smell and fumes in the cabin. These events can have short term effects on health and can lead to flight disruption."...and that ...."the decision to trial the air filtration system had nothing to do with studies linking cabin air with long-term health problems. They insist that: "... independent medical research has found no evidence for any such link”.
Fact: the research they refer to is funded by the industry and 'their' scientists never find anything, or "in such low concentrations that it is impossible to cause any health problems, and certainly none long-term". However, off late the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) stated that: "long-term health effects from cabin air" ... (...) ... such a link “cannot be ruled out”.
See the scientific evidence they tend to ignore here and in the following testimonies.
Preponderance of Evidence -Testimonies by Aerotoxic Syndrome Sufferers
1. I am just one of many.
“I am just one of many. One who has suffered severe poisoning from contaminated cabin air. From many years of experience in dealing with poisoned cockpit, and cabin crew, as well as getting to know passengers, who display typical toxicological symptoms on or after a flight.
I know that there are many like me. I was lucky that, after many years of odyssey, I met very competent and impartial expert Professor Helmuth Müller-Mohnssen. Without him, who was a courageous environmental health expert, I would have certainly died from the effects of multiple nerve poisons I was exposed to during my eleven years of service as a flight attendant. Professor Müller-Mohnssen, the most knowledgeable nerve toxin and pesticide expert, was one of the world’s best scientists in diagnosing a poisoning by nerve agents. I spent months visiting doctors and spending unnecessary time in hospitals for surgeries, diagnostics and ineffective treatment methods. Toxicological evaluation criteria were all simply ignored by attending physicians and flight medics.
Doctors, who despite the severity and the typical toxicological symptoms did not even consider them, subjected me to daily pain and indignities. Instead they shocked me over and over with false diagnoses, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatism or with prophecies that in no later than 2 years I would die. In 1999, my eleven-year career at Lufthansa, with increasingly occurring long-term illnesses, came to an end and I was declared unfit to fly by my company’s flight medic. Despite better knowledge he did not confirm the diagnosis of severe poisoning and tried to falsify the diagnosis. Ever since I have been fighting for a disability compensation and I try to help others with the same predicament.” (A.I. former LH purser)
2. Another sick aviator who wished to remain anonymous
“Bio monitoring measurements have shown the presence of substances at a six to fifteen times higher rate, in excess of daily exposure and higher than the corresponding official values (MAK maximum workplace concentration) allow. However, these control measurements by MAK are not relevant for us on a public carrier (aircraft) since they were devised for workers in a high hazard workplace environment, who wear protective gear including full face breathing protection, which we do not. Limits or standards for indoor air for these substances do not exist because they (substances) are far too toxic to be allowed indoor; never mind in a hermetically sealed tin (aircraft)
If [name of institute and airline withheld] conduct measurements and analyse exclusively on the basis of indoor air issues according to and for public transport, it is no surprise if they find no significant abnormalities, because they would not be looking for them. [Author: Remember what I said earlier in the book? One has to point a finger for e.g. laboratories to search for the right substance.]
“Already an estimated 50 percent of colleagues have trouble with significant peripheral neurological complaints, such as tingling in the fingers, feet, etc., but remain without receiving explanations relating to a possible toxin exposure at work...” (Name known to author.)
3. Case history of aerotoxic sickness experienced by a flight attendant
“Since the beginning of my work as an airhostess I have had episodes of a kind of migraine every four to eight weeks. Then I started the day with headaches, which became stronger during the day. In the afternoon hours or evening I started vomiting – often more than 10 times. Usually I had this for one day. During 2013 and 2014 these episodes lasted several days. But after my last flight in 2014 I did not vomit again. Two to three times a year I had a bad cold.
In the summer of 2013 my husband and I spent a short vacation of four or five days at the Baltic Sea. One evening I visited the sauna. I swam a short round in the natural pool they had. I was about to get out but suddenly my body had a mind of its own and threw itself to the left and wenn under the surface without me being able to control it. I didn’t understand at all what was happening in this moment. I fought with my body to get out of there, which was actually an area where I could even stand. But my body did not listen to me and continued to go back to the left and under the surface although stairs were in front of me, I could not get to them. I could not shout or do anything like it. I was lucky – there was a couple sitting not far from where I was. The lady realised that something was wrong with me and sent her husband who pulled me out of the pool, otherwise I would have drowned. As suddenly as my body function had gone to not normal it changed back to normal. So far I had no idea what this was all about.
One day after that summer in 2013 my alarm clock rang. I looked at it – it was spinning around and around and around at a very high speed. About half an hour later the haunting was over.
“I used to go jogging from time to time – not too fast or too long. One day I could not stop anymore but became faster and faster instead. So I decided to will myself to fall down at a certain point as the only way of a ‘controlled’ stop.
“In October 2013 I got strong convulsions in my legs and arms. I stopped working for three months. Suddenly I had extra systoles in the heart and a short but strong headache after drinking simple water. At the end of January I felt better.
“I had an MRI of the head done in October 2013. ‘Hydrocephalus’ was diagnosed. I wondered about that because I knew this from children being born with it. In January I asked the company’s aviation medical examiner if the doctor who diagnosed me was wrong. And the examiner said yes that this diagnose could not be the right one. Later the convulsions disappeared.
“At the end of February I had a very severe cold. I had a retraining on big aircraft in Frankfurt. I only had about six or seven flight days until the 10th April.
Then I had a four or five day’s rotation – my last one on an aircraft. On 14th April we landed in Tel Aviv. I wanted to switch door 1L [first left door front] of an A321 into ‘park’ position. But suddenly the convulsions were back. I looked at the door and couldn’t find the slide handle nor the door handle because everything was white, a big white area in front of my eyes. I turned around in order to go into the cockpit. I looked up to punch in the code but I could not remember it in this moment – after 11 years of flying in the position that placed me at this door, 1L. I also could not remember the telephone number to call the cockpit. I turned back to the door and scanned the door with my hands and hoped to find the handles this way. But I was not successful. The pilots were watching me via cameras. This was the moment for our captain to come out of the cockpit. She sent me into the cockpit. I was not aware of any passengers waiting in the galley. After about half an hour I was quite normal again.
Next day I went home. During the following weeks and months symptoms worsened. In July I could hardly walk, my short-term memory had nearly gone, my thinking had been slowed down very much and I could hardly speak. In my mind I could only find pictures of my childhood, songs of my childhood and so on. Sitting on the couch I let myself fall on the left side without being aware of it. The muscles in my face went slack. Mentally and physically I was handicapped. Within myself I could think but only there. I often fell and lost consciousness for a few seconds. I found out that I didn’t tolerate coffee anymore. From a friend I got strong enzymes that had been fermented over three and a half years. Three weeks after starting to take them I ‘came back’. Today I can walk nearly normal again, I speak normal and the extra systoles in the heart are much less. But often I feel weak, very tired and have strange headaches. Also my legs become tired from time to time. I had three more MRI investigations. The doctors looked for a tumour but could not find any. They spoke about surgery but finally the surgeon said that it is not necessary when I feel like I do now. It would be too risky. I asked him what he wanted to take out of the head if there is no tumour to be found. He did not answer. One doctor who already took part in the autopsies of pilots and flight attendants said that there is damaged brain tissue in my head. The organophosphates in the air of aircraft may trigger an autoimmune disease leading to damaged brain tissue.
My medicine mainly is: linseed oil, coconut oil, MSM, vitamin C, OPC, seeds of stinging nettle and volcano powder. I guess it will take more time to get rid of the remaining symptoms like muscle weakness, headaches, kind of rushing in the ears like being at the ocean, the dizziness and all the other symptoms showing up from time to time.“I spoke with my boss and talked to the airline doctors. The boss said that so many colleagues don’t have the problems I have. I told him that so many colleagues don’t have the problems I have but other major health problems. One airline doctor even yelled at me, how I could spend money on blood investigations by Professor Abou Donia? Though he did not speak of ‘Professor’ but disrespectfully as of a postgraduate whom he would have thrown out because this postgraduate according to him had not done any scientific work...” (Name withheld)
4. Another flight attendant's ill-health following fume events
“I am 44 years old and have been employed since 2000 at a large German airline as cabin staff. In summer of 2013, I experienced within two months, two so-called ‘fume events’, the second with no real smell. In June 2013, a colleague mentioned on a flight from Frankfurt to Berlin an acrid smell at the door of an A321. The captain asked me to check it. I also noticed the smell immediately. Within a few minutes I felt dizzy, got a headache, felt nauseous, with severe abdominal pain, a strong metallic taste and tingling in my hands and certain disorientation. I was barely able to equip our new pots and anyone who has already done this, knows that it is not an intellectual achievement. The colleague at door No. 2 had not been in the rear section of the plane, and she was still good, so she took over my duties. After landing, two colleagues and I were taken to the hospital. I had an exceptionally high blood pressure. In the hospital we were observed for 24 hours and then released. In the urine they nothing was found [surprise!]. Even the medical service of my employer found no exceptional values. In the following weeks how I felt went in waves but uphill. After 5 weeks, I reported back for duty. However, a slight dizziness and nausea accompanied my daily life.
In August 2013 I was re-contaminated on a flight. On board I noticed in myself and other colleagues increasing fatigue, headaches and lack of concentration, but no abnormal smell was noticeable. On the way home, which I can hardly remember, I arrived home and fell into a state of delirium, I literally collapsed. In the following days I still could not concentrate more than only a few minutes at a time. After two days, my partner said, I had to do something because ‘with your eyes closed, you look as if you had just died’. The next three days I spent in a professional hospital. Again, no exceptional values were found, only the oxygen saturation of the blood was slightly below average. I suffered from severe dizziness, visual and audio effects, numb fingers, absolute lack of libido, insomnia, neck pain, headaches and nausea. A state which did not improve for a long time. Three days later an environmental doctor who knew immediately what was wrong took care of me, but too much time had now elapsed to find plane typical poisons, however, there was a high concentration of insecticides found with which aircraft are regularly treated.
Until this summer, I was a sports enthusiast, after these incidents I could hardly get up the stairs. Many detoxifications later and a total avoidance and contact with chemicals such as fragrances, etc., it has taken about 1.5 years in waves to slowly come uphill, and a significant improvement in my condition has taken place. But to date nothing has really changed in the visual effects; I still have a tunnel vision as after excessive alcohol consumption, the tinnitus has remained the right more than left. Some days I have strong muscle twitches in different body areas, almost all joints ache sometimes. The vertigo is weaker, butstill noticeable. My memory performance has improved significantly, but is still below average.
Before I got sick, I had taken heed of the issue of contaminated cabin air only in passing, and had imagined it to happen about as frequently or rarely as a plane crash. Looking back, I certainly had suffered in previous years already from significant toxicity. Permanent respiratory problems, frequent headaches during or after the flights, nausea on board, insomnia at home and during the layover etc. In 2012 I was hospitalised due to severe vertigo, which was then dubbed after diagnosis of exclusion, as neuritis vestibularis, today I rather suspect that it was also a result of contaminated cabin air.” (Anonymous, name known)
5. And another flight-attendant’s story:
“We were flying from Frankfurt to San Francisco. During take-off we noticed a weird smell. We did not know what it was but it was so bad I was only able to breathe through my blouse, holding the collar up to my nose. My throat and my nose were burning. Not even the cockpit knew what it was and they called the engineers on the ground. The engineers told us that they cleaned one of the engines and that everything should be all right again if this engine would not provide the cabin with air any more. The cockpit did as they were told. They shut the engine off from providing the cabin with air.
“Me and my colleagues were not sure if we just got accustomed to the smell or if it vanished. I was able to breathe normal again and my throat and nose stopped burning.
“After that we were able to work as usual. Until the descent started. At that time we noticed that weird smell again. The engine we thought was responsible for it was still shut off from providing air. So we did not have an answer for our problem.
I was lucky – at least I thought I was – I did not feel bad in any way.
We were flying back to Frankfurt 48 hours later. The flight was normal. We were all able to work and provide the passengers with a good service. I travelled home by train. On the way I started to feel bad and it got worse. I was able to reach home before I collapsed. I felt sick and dizzy. I felt like that for about four days. After these four days it was better and I was able to work again. I worked for about six months but realised too late that my health was getting worse. I needed more and more sleep, my energy level was very low, I had the feeling of being constantly ill and that my throat was sore all the time. In April I was not able to wake up anymore. I slept about 13-14 hours without feeling recovered at all. I felt aggressive. I got horrible headaches, felt dizzy and had no energy, was tired all the time, could not think any more, could not concentrate, I was just not able to live my daily life.
“I consulted with one doctor after the other to find out what was wrong with me. But no one could help me. My family doctor tried to get help from my employer’s medical service but they just told him that they could not help at all. They didn’t find any bacterial or viral infection to explain my sore throat nor did I have any allergies. I needed strong painkillers because the normal ones didn’t help my headaches anymore. No one could explain why I was sleeping so much without feeling recovered. I also consulted a psychologist. I spent all my money for tests and doctors to get an explanation and a cure, but to no avail.
“More than a year later I finally found physicians who were able to tell me what the problem was. One told me that all my symptoms were a result from smelly fumes I inhaled on the plane. And he found toxins in my blood which caused all the symptoms and still do, and there is no antidote. I found out that there was a treatment that filters blood to cleanse it from toxins. I was able to go for two treatments. After these two treatments some symptoms got a little better and my energy level also improved. But the symptoms are still there. I still can’t concentrate for long, I have a tremor and a nervous twitch in some muscles, bad headaches – often nothing helps against these headaches and sometimes they last for days – my legs hurt and feel heavy, I get tired very fast and my energy does not last long, I still need too much sleep (about 10 hours), my memory got very bad, I forget things fast and sometimes I can’t even remember what I was saying two minutes ago, sometimes I want to say something but I can’t find the words, my hands and feet are always cold, I can’t feel cold in my fingers it just hurts, most of the time I feel like I have the flu but there is no virus or bacteria. I have been fighting for three years to get my health and my life back. My company says nothing happened. They ignore me and my symptoms.” (Staying anonymous because of fear of retribution.)
Frequent flyers can be as badly affected as crew since they fly a lot, mothers-to-be and children are very much in danger of being poisoned, and the unborn and children with their still developing bodies, brains and nervous systems can be severely damaged! (read more here)
Preponderance of evidence is the greater weight of the evidence required to decide in favor of one side or the other. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence. (source)
There are hundreds if not thousands of such case-studies and medical stories collected over the past decades, and more piling up daily: affected pilots, flight attendants and passengers!
How many more do they need?
If you wish to share your story and add even more weight to our evidence, please email me! Confidentiality is guaranteed!!
Testimonies are excerpts from :
The Air I Breathe – it’s Classified
Bearnairdine Beaumont -
available at Amazon worldwide >>> view links in side-bar>>>
2015 © Copyright - All Rights : Bearnairdine Beaumont
For anyone who is boarding an aircraft either for business or pleasure, there is important information regarding your health and safety you need to know.
As former senior air crew we have after years of researching found the reason for our ‘mysterious’ ill health and now know why we were medically grounded and forced to resign. We have been severely affected by ‘Aerotoxic Syndrome’ caused by inhalation of contaminated cabin air after exposure to multiple ‘fume events’ and oil-smell/odour incidences onboard our workplace, the aircraft.
Our aim and the ongoing campaign’s immediate goal is to raise public awareness, as well as provide information and help for air passengers and flight crew concerning the contaminated cabin air issue, which has been known but denied by the airline industry for over 60 years. This contamination is caused by ‘bleed air’ and other fumes entering the aircraft cabin breathing air supply, directly from the aircraft engines and is laced with dangerous neurotoxic compounds. Our mission is to see the condition ‘Aerotoxic Syndrome’ which is caused by inhalation and dermal poisoning, recognised globaly as an occupational and also environmental disease, respectively central nervous system and brain injury. This has just been supported by yet another peer-reviewed academic document Aerotoxic Syndrome: A new occupational disease? written by Dr. Susan Michaelis, Dr. Jonathan Burdon and Dr. C. Vyvyan Howard and published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) gathering worldwide online reaches of close to three billion within days of its release. Referring to that, many renowned newspapers and online portals worldwide have been reporting about ‘fume events’ affecting passengers and crew members on a daily basis.
How can you protect yourself and your loved ones? Within the pages of our website Aerotoxic Team you will find daily updates, important health information and travel tips for all air passengers and crew members, with a special section for those traveling with babies, children and whilst pregnant.
Along with that information, you will find online forms to report ‘fume and odour events’ and other helpful documentation for consultants and general practitioners who often do not know what the problem is and are at a loss how to help their patients. These forms will give them some information about the fumes you may have been exposed to in-flight and what to do. You will also find information and mask suggestions to help protect yourself here.
Verified clinical testing is available including a new hair analysis for the detection of highly toxic compounds, such as a combination of specific organophosphates which are contained only in jet engine oils: read info here. You should report incidences to the aviation authorities who have online reporting forms, example: EU Aviation Safety Reporting or USA go to ASRA and the FAA. It only takes a few minutes.
It is well known that ‘fume and smell events’ (visible or invisible) are not always being reported and when they are, they are being downplayed by the airlines involved. Passengers, especially frequent flyers, can be seriously affected, just as the pilots and cabin crew who are in danger of serious occupational ill health due to long-term regular exposure to even low levels of toxic fumes. A new ground-breaking study published by highly skilled ASHRAE scientists talks about the extent of the always present levels of dangerous and toxic 'nano'-sized particles contamination, which can also be harmful to health at so called 'low levels' - read here.
Inhaling contaminated breathing air in a confined space, which occurs in most aircraft (except B787) on the ground, during taxi, at take-off, often also at altitude and again during and after landing containing known nerve toxins that are devastating to the brain and central nervous system, is a serious health hazard and can cause irrevocable injury and ill-health.
Everybody is at risk on board an aircraft. If crew members are lucky enough to receive any medical assistance after being poisoned in a ‘fume/odour/smell event’, passengers are still being ignored most of the time, except if they file an official, formal complaint. The medical boards and emergency services are struggling to deal with the issue and we are working hard to educate and support those affected. There is an urgent need for a clearly defined internationally recognised medical protocol as stated in the WHO report.
Call to Action!
Four peaceful protest demonstrations have already taken place in Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt this year supported by "change.org". Our petition is counting already more than 87,600 signatures and is going strong. It was organised by aerotoxic victims, supported by unions and all aerotoxic organisations and associations, and is now going international. You would help us simply by signing, sharing and supporting our growing petition here: PETITION for fume event victims and the one and only fume event clinic.
On September 19/20 2017 the biggest ever Aircraft Cabin Air Quality Conference took place, with dozens of high profile experts speaking on the subject - conference presentations will be made available shortly.
The effects of toxic air and ‘Aerotoxic Syndrome’ will continue to affect billions of air passengers and crew members worldwide, if the industry does not bring about the necessary changes needed for safe and toxic free flights.
You pay for your airfare! You have the right to breathe ‘non-toxic air’ . We urge you to use your passenger power!
The airlines refuse to take responsibility for this issue, preferring to put profit before your health and safety. Denial of contaminated aircraft cabin air does not act as an immunity against it. One airline recently announced that they are intending to fit special filters in their entire fleet, possibly starting 2018 sometime. Former Norwich pilot John Hoyte says easyJet’s plans to install air filters is industry’s first acknowledgement of ‘aerotoxic syndrome'. ( read here)
The industry continues to deny, tries to ignore and definitley downplays the issue. It is down to the public and crew-members to put the necessary pressure on their political representatives and airlines. Write or email them and express your concerns.
In the United States Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced a bill to protect flight crews and passengers, in Germany Markus Tressel MP and his party are calling for an investigation. UK MP Henry Smith is calling for a Commons debate once again on aircraft cabin air poisoning. Worldwide pilots' and flight-attendants' associations and unions are taking a stance and are demanding that action be taken.
Inform and share this vital information with your families, friends and work colleagues.
EVERY FLIGHT IS A RISK! EVERY BREATH IS A DOSE! Nobody knows if and how badly they will or won’t be affected!
Find all the relevant information you need on this very important issue and our contact details on our below listed websites and social media pages. You can watch award winning documentary ‘Unfiltered Breathed In - The Truth about Aerotoxic Syndrome’ by film producer/ director Tim van Beveren and the films 'Dark Reflection' and 'Angel without Wings' by film producer/director Capt Tristan Loraine if you go to this page, where you will also find books by Capt John Hoyte, Bearnairdine Beaumont (ex Purser) and Porter Lafayette (F/A) on the subject .
The book 'The Air I Breathe-it's classified' is a must for anyone who wants to know about the reasons of serious ill health and Aerotoxic Syndrome and includes a whole section of health tips and adivce from one who had to work her way through it to regain some of her health. Bearnairdine’s book can be purchased here.
Questions? please contact us here
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Toxic Free Airlines
Donations, which are gratefully accepted would help us keep up the work, fund our online portals, fund further research and help victims who often land in financial difficulties due to losing their beloved jobs and having to pay for their medical help themselves - too often the various national health organisations refuse payments for therapies and medical assistance.
DONATIONS - thank you.
article ©Aerotoxicteam 21. Aug. 2017/ - updated 06.Oct.2017
I always speak my mind. I know what acting together can do. I can’t sit down and let the aviation industry bully friends and colleagues in to submission and fear. They are allowing crews to become ill by denying that the toxic fumes in the cabin air is causing ill-health and they are ruining people’s lives by doing so.
Lots of crews are nervous they would be sacked, but if you are all together they can’t get rid of you that easily!
This isn’t about money, this is about dignity, respect and your health – nobody can put a price on that.
Supervisors and managements use intimidation tactics frightning crew in to feeling that they are unable to take action. Also crew feel that for various reasons they don’t have the information or don’t know how to find the help they need to do so.
Many feel they are unable to take action, which can be partly due to feeling unrepresented by many major unions. Tell them! Or leave that union and support those who are actually doing something for you.
The fact that many crew members are organising themselves when odds seem to be stacked against them is brave and important. By taking collective action to improve your workplace conditions, crews are showing that when the many work together, they can take on the powerful few who are holding them back. The time is now.
We long-timers no longer fight for ourselves alone but also for the younger aviation generation who still have a full life to lead and should be enjoying flying, not have to worry about their health while doing their dream job!
We have done lots of work for you - use it! Become an informed person, and be a voice!
The belief that you can win is more important than ever!
(© Bearnairdine Beaumont)
Breaking News! August 2, 2017:
COURT CONCLUDES: toxic air on aircraft = and RULES work accident
A stewardess has been having considerable health problems which occurred after a flight, due to toxic chemicals floating around the aircraft. Together with Oliver Birk of the Stuttgart office of the DGB Rechtsschutz GmbH, she fought her case at the labour/industrial court Freiburg/Germany to determine the existence of an accident.
After reviewing and evaluating all the individual aspects, the Freiburg Labour Court concluded that an accident indeed had occurred. The applicant has thus become a victim of a workplace injury.
Besides this flight attendant, other colleagues’ symptoms were also symptomatic, which were in part less severe than the applicants’. Traces of tributyl phosphate were found inside the aircraft which was collected in a wipe sample the following day.
The Legal Framework
According to the provisions of the Labour Code VII, an accident occurs when an insured event affects an insured person from outside, causing an injury or death to the insured person. In the event of a dispute, the insured persons must prove among other things, that an accident has occurred. This evidence has been successful when the Court considers that with high certainty an accident occurred.
The view of the Berufsgenossenschaft (BG)
The employers’ liability insurance company refused to recognize an accident at work. In its view, the applicant had not been able to prove that an accident occurred.
The decision of the Labour Court
In its judgment, the Labour Court (Sozialgericht) assumes that the applicant was with high certainly a victim of a work injury. The following factors were decisive:
Since the fifties of the last century, there has been a large number of cases in which health problems have been reported by aircraft personnel or passengers, without warning odors or visible air pollution.
The plaintiff developed precisely those symptoms which were typical of cases in the past.
Apart from the plaintiff the same complaints and symptoms were experienced immediately after the flight by other colleagues . At the same time, most physicians at least confirmed similar findings as the plaintiff’s.
The results of the ‚wipe sample’ suggest that air contamination must have been present.
Frequent complaints in the past
Medical experts call the result of contaminated cabin air an “aerotoxic syndrome.” The professional association itself reports several hundred cases of corresponding health impairments in the years 2013 to 2016.
An obvious technical reason for these complaints is that the compressed air is impacted by the engines and condensed air flows from the engine area into the aircraft interior. Cases of aerotoxic syndrome occur both nationally and internationally and lead to uniform impairments among the people who inhale the polluted air.
As in the cases of the past, the plaintiff also had a direct time link with the flight, including among other things, aching pain in the forehead, slowed reaction and facial motor disfunction, nasal and sinus congestion , speech disorders and memory and balance disorders. All these complaints have also affected the victims of past cases.
Impact on the colleagues
In all four cabin crew, doctors have confirmed typical signs of aerotoxic syndrome. It does not matter that the complaints varied in intensity. The variation in intensity can be explained by the fact that the persons were in different areas of the aircraft. The applicant and one colleague who were mainly at the rear of the aircraft both showed the strongest and most long lasting problems. Colleagues in the middle and the front of the aircraft on the other hand, experienced less drastic consequences. This is because the ventilation system is divided into several zones where fresh air supply and temperature differ. On one hand, the intensity of the complaints depends on the position within the aircraft. On the other hand, the same position has the same intensity of complaint. This indicates that the outflow of contaminated air is an accidental event.
As a matter of fact it would have been necessary to examine the interior of the aircraft immediately after landing for residues of toxic chemicals. No one did this at first. But on the following day traces of tributyl phosphate were still found. This substance is a component of hydraulic oil in jet engines. There is thus an objective indication that the cabin air was polluted via the bleed-air of the engines.
After reviewing and evaluating all individual points of view, the Freiburg Court concluded that an accident had occurred. The applicant has thus become a victim of a work injury.
The judgment of the „Sozialgericht Freiburg“ is not yet final. If the employers’ association appeals to the National Labour Court, we will continue to report. © (German original source DGB Rechtsschutz)
Translation from original text by Bearnairdine Beaumont- all rights reserved DGB/Michael Wanner
The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated... it is finished when it surrenders.
No, we are not crazy ‚ we are very much for and care about, aviation; we loved our jobs and miss it; we did not want to have to stop flying due to ill health, but we want to help keep it safe.
We are the Aerotoxic Team – three women one purpose!
We campaign with the knowledge based upon decades of research by renowned scientists, by what we know through existing new science and piles of case histories, testimonies and simply: evidence.
We bring awareness to crews and passengers about contaminated air on aircraft which is making so many very sick. Too many, too young pilots and cabin crew lose their jobs, lose their health or even die ... just like that. They call it ‚natural causes’, but is it?
Dee Passon’s „Crew Health Survey“ speaks a different language. At a UK based big airline alone there are two deaths per month of mostly young crew members. Natural causes? The science and research done by many renowned experts speaks a different language.and the many hundreds, if not thousands of testimonies speak a different, very clear language, that in many cases other ‚causes’ could be the underlying (non-natural) factor.
What do you know about the toxic fumes that you are exposed to? How do you know that you won’t be affected? How do YOU feel when half of your crew is brought to a hospital after a flight for which you carried the responsibility as the pilot in command? Or for your cabin team as the cabin chief, purser, inflight service manager?
Do you belong to those who feel it is not necessary to file a report to the aviation authorities and airline after toxic fumes, visible or invisible, have infiltrated your workplace and intoxicated some or all of your crew and passengers, even the pilot sitting beside you? You after all aren’t affected? Or are you affected, but in denial and are you still ignoring the facts? Or, did your company management tell you not to file a report and also not to inform the passengers?
Are you possibly willfully blind?
„Willfull blindness is a legal concept which means: if you have the information that you could know and should know, but somehow manage not to know, the law deems you are willfully blind and have chosen not to know.
.... 85% of employees of companies worldwide stay silent although they know.“ (source : Margaret Heffernan)."
Don’t be one of the 85% - use your freedom of speech, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Because we know that you talk about this issue during crew layovers, at home with your partners and with friends. You talk and secretly you wonder.
If you feel you have not enough information: it’s there. Just visit our dedicated websites and Facebook pages – we have done it all for you. You just need to read the science and technology, view our award winnning documentary films, movies and many video clips , or read our books (view in side bar) and live with us through it all and learn about the negative, life changing impact exposure to contaminated cabin air can have .
It could be you! Go to Thoughts from Dr Susan Michaelis, former airline pilot
There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit,
no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.
© Bearnairdine Beaumont July 2017
special thanks goes to an invisible friend, Mark B., for sharing ‘Willfully Blind.” by Margaret Heffernan
The Complicity in the Cause of Injuries and Illnesses among Crew and Passengers.
Although the evidence of toxic fumes entering the cockpit and passenger cabin, contaminating the breathing air and exposing occupants to ill health or incapacitation, has been commented on, warned about and published since the 1930’s by well known, reputable scientists and is piling up daily, the blatant lies and denials by the industry continue.
Lying is hard work! Like a broken record they repeat their petty and really feeble arguments which are supporting their lies always based on:
“Studies have indicated that cabin air is as good or better than the air found in offices and homes.” or “...findings are so low that it is not possible for them to cause health issues.”
They try to appease victims and well educated campaigners by making small gestures like producing their own ‘findings’, using industry supported and financed research institutions and ‘scientists’, old papers and paid ‘experts’, no backup evidence and the ever same, in the mean time very stale statements.
Chronic exposure to such heated, burned oil and kerosene fumes to which crews and frequent flyers are subjected, resulting in ill health, are scoffed at and, for the industry, do not exist and definitely do not cause any harmful toxic build up in the body, nor long term health damage or injury to the central nervous system. They even try to pull a veil over everybody’s eyes, by calling the noxious fumes ‘odours’ – but omit to say that it is not the odour or ‘smell’, but the chemicals contained therein that cause neurotoxic symptoms like brain fog, dizziness, nausea, collapse, inability to converse and think logically – to mention just a few. The ‘odour’ is the result of a chemical reaction which can even increase the toxicity and can lead, due to above mentioned symptoms, to possible incapacitation and unconsciousness. What when that happens to the pilots in flight?
Remember, you are locked inside a pressurized tube at high altitude with no means of escape to avoid the toxic “odours”, nor can you just open a window! The statements ‘ ...clean air as in a regular office or homes...’ can not be held upright. For one: since when do offices and homes have high powered turbine engines supplying the space at 36.000 feet with breathing air?
Dishonesty, perjury, deceit, fabrication, misrepresentation, duplicity, double-dealing, prevarication, and guile … any one of the above words will do. A compulsive liar is someone who lies with ease and finds nothing wrong with it. They even continue to lie when presented with the truth in cold, hard facts. Getting compulsive liars to admit they lied can be nearly impossible.
They lie because they want something they wouldn't be able to get otherwise. Or to keep something they would otherwise loose. There is power in lies and money – as the saying goes: “Everyone has a price”.
Lies are coming from otherwise highly educated, sophisticated leaders in our industry, including doctors who have taken oath to help, not harm. Yet they are somehow influenced and in the end do cause harm. One could think they are willfully ignorant: ‘what they don’t know can’t hurt’. But it does not become them ...
Sometimes, they use a technique where they convince others that their realities are incorrect and only the liars know what really is (their) “truth”. They disguise failure to avoid getting in to trouble to the point of criminal actions and on top of that try and make the victims responsible for what they have done.
A beguiling combination of manipulated beliefs and outright lies. The deceit deployed to keep and advance their business objectives remains obscured and is reinforced by pro industry media.
The real issue in this long-running deception lies in identifying why lawmakers continue to befriend and defend an industry that has for so long—and so consistently—deceived and betrayed and has put their employees and customers in danger and continues to do so. Is it that money talks? Does money and protection from the loss of money, buy deceit?
Based on the well-documented history of this duplicity, and mountains of published, academically researched and peer reviewed papers giving evidence, every single CEO and Manager who has this knowledge and hasn’t got the guts to do something about it is complicit in the cause of injuries and illnesses among crew and passengers. They should be shamed and punished for cowardice.
The ongoing denial of existing evidence while presenting their opposing ‘scientific’ findings which result in contradictions are just further lies - because they cannot untell what has been said for six decades.
In most civil cases, a party has to prove its claim or position by a preponderance of evidence , defined as a superiority in weight, force, importance, etc. In legal terms, a preponderance of evidence means that a party has shown that its version of facts, causes, damages or fault, is more likely than not the correct version. We entered an aircraft in excellent health and disembarked from it sick!
How is it that when the scale tips in favor of the victim (plaintiff), that judges often find for the company (defense)? Do they misunderstand the expert witnesses? Is the medical report somehow thought insufficient?
For some very odd reason, although the evidence for those pilots, cabin crew and passengers who have filed suits because they have lost their good health and lost their license to fly leaving their lives in shambles … the industry still manages to succeed by putting forward their denial and lies and do their utmost to make these victims look as if they were the liars, or make them out to be hypochondriacs or psychiatric cases? Even threaten them? Or, as soon as they are standing back against the wall, quickly move for an out of court settlement.
The law professionals and the lawmakers who often and obviously support such activities should be charged with professional misconduct and fraud for robbing deserving employee claimants of their rights of access to health and financial assistance under the workers compensation and legal liability laws.
Most managers, airline attorneys, and those who support them, lie and walk away without looking back. They certainly don’t worry about it. Even some pilots will take the company’s side by denying help for their crews and passengers. Some will continue to fly aircraft they know are not airworthy.
Of course, since the house of cards is held together by a shoddy scaffolding of lies and denials, just keep on shaking it ... it will tumble!
©Bearnairdine Beaumont - May 2017
Many of them. Findings that is, that give evidence that aviatiors have suffered from the same nervous system injury and brain cell damage as a result from inhaling toxic cockpit and cabin air.
Apart from the damage done by the much talked about jet engine oil fume events, there is much more to consider. More toxins.
General Major Harry G. Armstrong BS MD, Director of the United States Aeromedical Research Laboratory stated, that although the inhalation of hot oil fumes had not been mentioned in the literature at the time, several cases had been brought to his attention.
Dear Reader, please note this was in the 1930’s!
Furthermore he stated that the symptoms were very similar to those of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and were at first mistaken for it. He said: „The diagnosis was based on the absence of carbon monoxide in the blood and the discovery that high concentrations of hot oil fumes were present in the cockpit.“
The symptoms cited are very much known to all of us who are affected: headaches, nausea, sometimes vomiting with irritation of the eyes, throat and upper respiratory pathways. If, as aviators are, people are repeatedly exposed to even minimal amounts of these toxins, (Armstrong actually spoke of ‚gas’) they complain about headaches, vertigo, neuromuscular pain, dispnea, palpitations and mental symptoms.
The breakdown products of lubrication oil are methyl aldehyde, para formaldehyde, ethyl aldhyde, with principally the aldehyde acrolein, which is highly toxic to be most likely the causative agent. Armstrong said: „While it is not believed that such high concentrations would ever occur in aircraft, the effects of lower concentrations are obviously sufficient to be dangerous to safety in flight.“
Something that is vehemently being denied by the industry although there is more than enough evidence.
Further, Armstrong stated in 1939 already, that for aviation the only logical method of dealing with this problem was to eliminate carbon monoxide from the cabins and cockpits of aircraft. „The onset of carbon monoxide poisoning is so insidious and its effects so disastrous to one piloting an airplane that preventative measures are the only ones to be relied on.“
Again: this is written in this paper dated 1939!
How long does the aviation industry need to get their act together? It is now over seventy years later! If they had sorted this problem out upon taking Harry G. Armstrong and Henry A. Redall, to name just two highly qualified people seriously, who had warned of the dangers, none of what is happening now would have come to pass!
For them it has become the infamous White Elephant, an inconvenient and increasingly expensive thing that can't be got rid of. And the longer they wait to fix the issue, the worse it will get: thousands of sick flight attendants and pilots! And passengers!
General Major Armstrong and his colleague Heim established that anoxemia resulting from an oxygen saturation of the blood of less than about 88% results in a series of subjective manifestations which they considered to be dangerous in flying personnel. These consist principally of lowered attention, difficulty in concentration and retention, slight muscular incoordination, sleepiness, and mental and physical lethargy.“
Symptoms we hear about about every day from affected crew members!
Imagine sitting in an aircraft, oblivious of the possibility that up front one, or both pilots are struggling trying to keep their faculties together, trying to figure out what to do next? How frightening is that? And no, the Flight Attendants can't land the aircraft - why? Well obviously they are not qualified but mainly because they too are affected ... so who's going to help with the possible emergency landing?
And that is not all.
More in the next blog Text in DEUTSCH
ncontinued from Aviators, Snake Oil Myths & White Elephants
Be very skeptical when you are showered with platitudes of reassurance about the safety of otherwise toxic chemicals from those who stand to profit one way or another from using them or selling them. It can take more than a decade for signals of harm to make themselves noticed – or it can happen with the snip of your fingers: one minute your OK, the next you are very sick and you don’t know what hit you.
We have a very complex problem at play here, which also keeps popping up with those in the industry dealing with contaminated cabin air or the so called „Aerotoxic Syndrome“ health issues, which really is an injury of the central nervous system (CNS) from poisoning .
Problem is: scientists are not doing the right types of studies, especially the scientists on the pay-roll of the airline industry, and physicians and laboratories are not doing the right tests.
Though many studies are running, mostly industrial related - there is still not sufficient literature
on clinical data or showing detailed data which may unravel underlying causes and context factors for the reported health complaints after fume event (accidents).
It's the dynamic effects of toxicants in combination, we have to look for. That has to be the aerotoxic-aircraft-injury toxicology. A toxicology that acknowledges that the cocktail of long term low level doses ( = each breath is a dose) of synthetic toxic chemicals, particularly when combined, can sabotage cellular processes and interfere with the central nervous system and brain function.
The toxic soup in the aircraft breathing air calls for action and , if more studies, then that they have to ask questions about synergy; for inflammatory markers, and individual biochemical susceptability; the acknowledgement that one chemical/toxicant can make you more vulnerable to another, and multiple chemicals can wreak more havoc than individual chemicals alone.
„Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson both died from mixtures of drugs, not from single drugs. Their cases are a warning of what can happen when you take in two or more toxic substances,” says Professor Ravi Naidu. “In contaminated sites we are almost always dealing with mixtures. As we see from the cases of Ledger and Jackson, combinations can sometimes be far more deadly than individual substances. It makes far better sense to assess the risk to human health posed by the combined contaminants, than to look at them one by one.“ (end quote)
This means assessing not only the mixture of chemicals, but which parts of them are capable of reaching crew and passengers via breathing air, fumes in air, smoke in air, smells in air, dust from carpet, airconditioning ducts and seats, and the resulting health effects this might have, respectivally confirming those we have known off for so many years now.
Yes, aircraft cabin air can be contaminated by tricresyl phosphates (TCP) from jet engine oils during fume events. But, the o-TCP, a known neurotoxin, has been addressed for so many years now by some as the one and only culprit to be the agent causing the symptoms reported by cabin crews after fume and smell events, that, sure enough, the airline industry keeps concentrating happiliy on TCP: I think, because they know that it is not the real or only problem, but are using it to pull a veil over our eyes, because it is not as easily detected in body fluids and the air, as are many of the other hazardeous and neurotoxic compounds crew and passengers are exposed to.
But, as Professor Naidu and others also, said: “In contaminated sites we are almost always dealing with mixtures. ...(...) ...combinations can sometimes be far more deadly than individual substances.“
Yes, incidences of visible smoke and invisible fumes, carrying strong toxic smells in aircraft cabins are often a result from burned jet engine oil fumes and/or hydraulic fluid that leak into the ventilation air.
Jet engine oil fumes + hydraulic fumes + flame retardants + kerosene fumes + pesticides + X equals: Cellular disaster and brain damage.
Health complaints reported by air crews can hardly be addressed to o-TCP exposure alone. Elevated metabolite levels for TBP, TCEP and TPP in air crews might occur due to traces from fumes of hydraulic fluid or due to the release of flame retardants from the highly flame protected environment in the airplane, plus the use of pesticide sprays for desinsection purposes, and not to forget the inhalation of kerosene fumes (CO2) and more. There is a build-up of these toxins in the inner environment of the aircraft and can be increased during every flight, one way or the other.
Affected air crew must be tested for a whole combination of individual compounds. They often encounter comments from physicians or laboratories, that such and such a compound is not in the body fluids anymore after a certain period of time. Due to that, they (physicians), seem to think that no damage has been or can be done. Wrong! But it does mean that affected persons must go and get their bloods and urine taken within (best) a 24 hour window after exposure.
For all toxins, the most important storage area is the brain. But all other organs or parts of the body, such as nerves, liver, intestines, glands, heart, kidneys, bones, skin and tumors, also act as storage organs.
The half-life indicates the time after which half of the absorbed toxins are excreted again from the body; for example, it takes 11 years for dioxins and 18 years for mercury in the brain. The total excretion is several times longer, which is particularly important with regard of allergies. Only complete non-exposure to particular and any toxins can facilitate health improvement.
Toxins must neither be detectable from in the private space, nor from in the workplace in any level of concentration in the organism. The current limit values do not take into account the weakest, ie the actual risk groups, and symbolize only industrial interests; they are not biological parameters. The figures of the official limit values always refer to adult healthy men.
These limit values are only valid for healthy adults and only for individual poisons and never for allergic persons.
So: WHO guarantees well-being at low dose exposure to toxins or those with limit values? WHO?
The Ten Deadly Sins of Toxicology*
1. The failure to seek any particular effects at all
2. The use of unsuitable test methods
3. The unfavourable choice of the time of the examination
4. The insufficient exposure of the target organs with the substance to be investigated
5. The incorrect assessment of the experimental findings
6. The disregard of prejudices
7. The inability to record harmful effects correctly
8. The disregard for species studies
9. The disregard of anatomical specificities.
10. Incorrect conclusions from the animal to humans (*list ©from toxcentre.org)
So yes, it is a myth that TCP, or o-TCP is the one and only culprit here: there are many more compounds - compounds that are only found in the aircraft inner environment and can only create such a toxic body burden that causes crew members severe health issues in-flight and long after, due to their constant presence and the crews being exposed to them over long periods of time: up to 100 hours per month. Year after year.
© Bearnairdine Beaumont
(to be continued)
If you feel so inclined, please comment, or share your story.
Pilots. A species which still has a bit of glamour surrounding them. Handsome and dashing looking in their uniforms, they are world travellers, tanned jet setters, fancy hotel occupiers, well paid with lots of free time, always on holidays while doing what they love most: flying.
Nowadays we can read on a practically daily basis: Pilot incapacitated, pilots donned oxygen masks, pilots declare pan-pan-pan emergency, pilots diverted, emergency landing due to pilot suddenly sick, crew acting weird, crew collapsing, pilot and crew members carried off board brought to medical care, emergency room, pilots depressed, pilots fatigued. pilot dies inflight. Plane crashes. Investigations determine: pilot error. Pilot cannot defend himself, pilot is dead. Mayday, mayday, mayday,
Why ‚mayday’ , why distress in the cockpit? Way too often, due to sudden appearance of heated and burned oil / smoke, other toxic fumes or sickening chemical smells, filling the cockpit and cabin’s breathing air.
We can only survive three minutes - approximatly - without any oxygen. If the available oxygen is laced with neuro/toxins, the oxygen is reduced, it has no chance to neutralise the man-made synthetic chemicals. So perhaps the pilots can survive a bit longer, on low O2 while feeling spaced out, dizzy, with diminishing feeling in their limbs, incoherent thinking, not knowing what their next move is to be, with vision problems setting in ... only capable, somehow, of just about remembering the drill to grab their O2 masks as their survival instinct kicks in, gasping for clean air.
Snake oil: if it doesn't help it won't kill you.
‚Snake oil’ = something useless that someone tries to sell you or make you believe is good – just slightly adapted.
As is increasingly the case, toxic fumes are known to cause severe medical emergencies and ensuing health issues, endangering the safety of unsuspecting passengers, not to mention the pilots and cabin crew.
Toxic fumes from the so called bleed-air system, from hydraulic oil fumes, kerosene fumes, pesticide spray mist, flame retardants fumes, de-iceing fluids seeping in, and more. Some of these compounds are listed amongst highly dangerous war-fare agents.
The industry does not like to acknowledge, never mind talk about the concoction of highly toxic fumes entering the cabin breathing air, which can happen while i.e. still standing on-blocks, then off–blocks and during taxi, followed by high–powered take-off thrust heating up engine oils, during which badly serviced or low quality seals and filters too often seem to be unable to do their job, instead, allowing highly toxic fumes to pass in to the breathing air and subsequently in to the lungs of the jet’s occupants. True to snake oil sellers mentality, the industry insists that this is completely harmless and all is well within legal limits.
If we are flying to one of those countries that demand a ‚desinsection’ of arriving jet’s cabins, the crew will spray, either before boarding or take-off in their country of departure, or upon decent before landing, a specially formulated toxic pesticide to kill any hiding bug which could endanger the safety of the entire country we are landing in.
Another highly toxic compound. It kills bugs, depending on the size or type either instantly or slowly. The products declare 'only' 2% active ingredient, but neglect to mention that included propellants like i.e. kerosene compounds (!) actually not only activate but also increase the toxic killing power of the 'active ingredient'.
When much talked about fume events occur, during which fumes can appear as smoke in the cabin, everybody is inhaling a fresh brew, blended from the ‚bleed-air’ containing the jet oil's neurotoxic agents, which is drawn in directly through the engines.
These various fume-concoctions collect and remain in the air within the circulation, stick to the interior aircraft surfaces and seat materials and can build up slowly but surely in the body tissue and fluids, especially of those flying frequently. They can cause severe damage to the central nervous system including the brain. (to be continued) ...
Coming up Next:
The TCP Myth
"When Toxins attack Nerves" now available free download
All text on this website, blog, ebooks, books and articles are copyright © Bearnairdine Beaumont
When we came on board an aircraft, especially after it had arrived from a long-haul flight, most of us noticed a stuffy, weird, sometimes mouldy smell comparable to a wet dog, or sweaty sock smells as if a whole gym had been on board, and other unpleasant smells, such as vomit. We never knew what it was, wrinkled our noses, commented on it, and sometimes sprayed our own expensive perfumes to cover it up and just got on with our job.
In time I became aware that my uniform smelled awful after flights, so much so I couldn’t bear it! After each flight it had to be hand-washed. Dry cleaning had become impossible since I had noticed that the smell from the dry cleaners caused me sneezing and skin reactions. The horrible musty smell wasn’t removed by dry cleaning anyway; on the contrary, it seemed to increase it. I suddenly had a persistent ringing in my ears. Headaches had become my constant companion, which was unusual for me, and the wheezing and full blown asthma attacks, gasping for breath, were becoming more frequent; only easing when I had several days off between flights.
Allergies to all kinds of things began manifesting as the list grew longer and longer, accompanied in time not only by sneezing, red eyes and sinusitis, but nose bleeds and terribly itchy skin, balancproblems and dizziness. I was also developing a sensitive digestion, which was most annoying. I had always been proud of a digestion and stomach as ‘strong as a horse’s’, but that dramatically changed. The swollen ‘Boeing-baby-belly’ never ceased and certain foods caused severe IBS symptoms.
from the book "The Air I Breathe - it's classified" Amazon
'When Toxins Attack Nerves' available now! FREE download
After becoming unfit to fly and being medically 'retired' Bearnairdine became involved in scientific research for the campaign 'improve the quality of aircraft cabin air' and the helping of victims to understand their ill-health; coming from a medical background she is also a health consultant & educator with over 25 years professional and personal experience ; she is a published author of three books in two languages and the founder of the " AEROTOXIC TEAM" and 'Global Aerotoxicteam', educational website and socialmedia pages. She not only became unfit to fly, but also unable to work in her former profession due to her severe central nervous system injury; she receives a small disabilty allowance and is still fighting to receive her workplace related ill-health pension. She lives in a beautiful, but secluded area of the Swiss alps and continues to support the aerotoxic campaign via computer and telephone. She is available for media inquiries.
Any language comments welcome!
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