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
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.
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