This book is dedicated to the sharing of the simplest ways how to survive, and improve one’s health in ways that don’t cost an arm and a leg after the poisoning by toxic substances in aircraft. The result can be a nervous system injury which often leads to a ‚diffuse toxic encephalopathy’ and/or ( OPIDN=organophosphate induced delayed) neuropathy, toxicant‐induced loss of tolerance, and the so called Aerotoxic Syndrome.
Canaries are active, cheerful and beautiful, and have a delightfully lovely song! They are colorful and have pleasing personalities. There is nothing like a pretty canary song to unravel nerves at the end of the day.
John Scott Haldane was known as “the father of oxygen therapy”. He researched in dangerous self-experiments by breathing several toxic gasses, and pronounced carbon monoxide as the cause of death in depths, which led him to recommend using birds for detection. He suggested using an animal more sensitive to the colorless, odorless carbon monoxide and other poisonous gasses than humans. Why was a canary Haldane’s suggested solution? Canaries are good early detectors of carbon monoxide because they’re vulnerable to airborne poisons. Because they need such immense quantities of oxygen to enable them to fly and fly to heights that would make people altitude sick, their anatomy allows them to get a dose of oxygen when they inhale and another when they exhale, by holding air in extra air sacs stored in other parts of their body, due to which they get a double dose of air … and any poisons the air might contain. If the canary became ill, fell of its perch or died, it would be the miners warning to evacuate. Carbon monoxide is a potentially deadly gas devoid of color, taste or smell, which can form underground during a mine fire or after a mine explosion. Today's coal miners must rely on carbon monoxide detectors and monitors to recognize its presence underground. The mixture of gases that remain in a mine following a mine fire or explosion usually consists principally of carbonic acid gas and nitrogen, which is toxic when inhaled. More sensitive to such gases than humans, the little bird would collapse and fall off its perch long before the miners were affected; the poor little birds plight was therefore a signal to the miners to get out immediately, and to management to look at the problem and clean up the mine. If we think of the workforce, in our case the flight crew, as “test canaries”, the typical reactions of managements is interesting: They don't say 'we've got a problem here, let's fix it before we have a disaster', but start bad-mouthing the canaries by more or less hidden diffamation of character. It has a personality disorder, they say, or, it is faking it; it was sick before it went down the mine, or in our case: up in the air; or - more simply – it is a troublemaker. Just as the victimization that causes the canary to fall of its perch is standard from one organization, state and country to another, so are the managements’ explanations for the canary's state of mental and physical health. And remembering what the canary's state really means to the mine and those in it, the response is not at all what we would expect from managers and company CEO’s who care about their workers. The reaction to the canary is representative of the industry’s response as a whole. Typically the response is orchestrated, hostile and powerful: a bullying per se.
It was reported in 2003 that a British officer acted as a "human canary" during the first enemy missile attack of the Iraq war because the troops did not have enough batteries for their chemical agent monitors; defence sources were quoted: "He had to go out of the tent and stand there.", one source said. "The thinking was that if he fell over there were probably chemical agents around."
The Airline Industry's Canaries So logically in our case, if it’s not the pilots, it’s the cabin crews that : “... if they fall over, one can assume that chemical agents are around”. However, such thinking seems to elude the aviation industry - at least regarding any levels of toxic substances that are not on some sort of ‚legal limit’ list, and they are in complete denial regarding the dangers of ‚double doses’ and continued, regular inhalation of minimal amounts.
I want to give you some advice on how to regain your health in ways that don’t cost an arm and a leg - just some willpower and dedication from your good self. Or, as a precaution to protect and strengthen the immune system as good as you can, to hopefully avoid such health issues. But be aware: there is no guarantee, every flight still is: a Russian Roulette.
The Aerotoxic Syndrome phenomena experienced by aircrew and passengers.
Please read my first book 'The Air I Breathe-it's Classified' to be well informed about what can happen on flights when the breathing can get difficult because the air is contaminated.
Buying my book also helps me to maintain the blog and my website Aerotoxic Team - thank you!