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
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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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