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Old 10th Sep 2010, 15:31   #1 (permalink)
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Toxic Cabin Air

Seems an Australian court has found toxic cabin air to be the cause of repiratory illness.

Will this start further investigations and acknowledgements by the aviation industry??

'Toxic' cabin air: legal victory for sick flight attendant - Telegraph
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 20:17   #2 (permalink)
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 20:42   #3 (permalink)

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Let's hope things will progress. Sadly, it's too late for many.
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 21:10   #4 (permalink)
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It seems a very paltry award for the damage done to her.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 06:58   #5 (permalink)
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First win = Legal precedent


The fume event was in 1992, the legal proceedings have been going on for 10 years and she has made it clear that the case was NOT run for compensation but to:

* Set a legal precedent.

* Help the 25% of other aircrew who have been similarly affected.

Go for it.

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Old 11th Sep 2010, 21:22   #6 (permalink)
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I understand DB and good for her.

I hope this case will 'legitimise' the problem with regulators and force them to take action.

The amount awarded should have been greater however, both for the plaintiff's benefit and to further increase the attention required to fix this problem.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 09:16   #7 (permalink)
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No evidence...


The airlines and regulators are still saying 'there is no evidence' - even after a High Court case and all of the overwhelming evidence - so it's not over yet!

It's called denial - a bit like the African river - The Nile.

As you so rightly say, all anybody wants are the known solutions of:
  • Filtered bleed air - Just like cigarettes.

  • Fit toxic air detectors - not aircrew's noses!

  • Reformulate the oils - take out the nerve agents.

- Just in case?

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Old 12th Sep 2010, 15:52   #8 (permalink)
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Occupational Disease and Workers Compensation

This court ruling may be of use in obtaining a full or partial disability pension for occupational disease (even if the onset occurs after employment has ended) from the governing Workers Compensation Board (or whatever the body in your area is called).

In some boards, extra assessments against employers incurring higher payouts can be levied

While many courts have time limitations for civil suits, compensation boards usually do not. So if you can't sue, go to your compensation board, preferably in a group with the other affectees and a smart advocate.

Many boards are a little bit disfunctional. In which case you will find that there are a number of advocates who know how to make a claim stick.
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Old 14th Sep 2010, 05:31   #9 (permalink)
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Toxic Cabin Air Victory

The Bae 146 Alf engine (Helicopter designed powerplant) was modified to power Bae 146 and incorporated customer bleed air. Their Carbon friction bearing seals can wear and pressure can drop across seals at the top of climb of even good seals allowing some oil fume by pass to a/con system.

Most fixed wing A/C have power plants with Labyrinth bearing seals ( no contacting parts ) and give nil problems and work by differential pressure.

APU's have carbon friction bearings seals and when worn can contaminate bleed air ducts upstream to engine isolation valves and down stream a/con system.

Ansett introduced monitoring units in the aft overhead locker and changed the engine oil from Mobil jet 11 to 294 less carcinogetic.

Monash university should release a report end 2010 from a committee formed 18 months ago as advertised in The Australian which i am awaiting a reply.

I believe I have a solution and been in contact with Boeing, The French say it's no bigger deal than theater odours and not a problem.

A/C cabins are a confined space and create body odours, Galley odours, lavortory odours and can suffer engine oil vapours, Straight away pillows which adsorb unwanted vapours could be placed in overhead lockers until vapour filters are fitted to various systems.

Awaiting reply's from manufactures, they showed initial interest.
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Old 14th Sep 2010, 14:51   #10 (permalink)
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Cabin Air

Of course none of this could have happened with the Vickers Fun-Bus, the venerable VC10 (and no doubt many other types of the era) have separate dedicated cabin air compressors. Have we gone backwards in the intervening 40 years? I understand that these devices were heavy and power hungry but what is more important than looking after the self loading revenue stream?

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Old 14th Sep 2010, 15:25   #11 (permalink)
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B 787 is much more than just 'fuel efficient'...


YouTube - Airlines: Gift im Flieger? - Teil 2 von 2

I think this German film explains what you mean. (subtitled)

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Old 23rd Sep 2010, 11:02   #12 (permalink)
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Flight International Article posted on the Aerotoxic Association website:


Australian court upholds toxic compensation

East-West loses appeal over flight attendant damages award

A flight attendant from the former Australian regional carrier East-West Airlines whose health was damaged by toxic fumes in the cabin of a BAe 146 has had a A$138,800 ($129,000) compensation award upheld by the country's high court, against an appeal by the airline.

Joanne Turner was working for East-West when fumes entered the cabin in the descent at the end of a Sydney-Brisbane flight in 1992. She was 25 weeks pregnant and complained of a burning throat, sore eyes, headaches and persistent cough after the incident.

It has been established that the fumes that entered the cabin pressurisation system were the result of a leaking engine oil seal.

The Australian Dust and Diseases Tribunal the national agency with the closest area of expertise to this case awarded Turner $138,757 in damages some time ago, but East-West had appealed against that decision. Now the high court has upheld it.

Turner says: "I'm just very relieved it's finally over. I hope the fight will help other flightcrew."

Meanwhile, a University of New South Wales survey has found that about 25% of pilots who flew on the BAe 146 suffered long-term health degradation that deprived them of their pilot licences, and an Australian Senate inquiry found East-West and Ansett Airlines, by 2007, had been paid more than $2 million in 1993 by BAE Systems British Aerospace's successor to drop complaints about the BAe 146.

Court judgements are pending on the same subject in other Australian states and in Belgium.

Flight International 21-27 September 2010
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Old 23rd Sep 2010, 11:41   #13 (permalink)
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This might raise the profile, if it ever happens:

Shadows from the Sky - Feature Film.
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Old 23rd Sep 2010, 15:19   #14 (permalink)
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Shadows from the Sky (2011)

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Old 25th Sep 2010, 11:19   #15 (permalink)
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WRONG! (you're out )

The oil already exist, a French company -NYCO.SA- produces the TURBONYCOIL 600, since the French Government in the 70's legislate about organophosphates and oils.
It's approved for a whole range of Jet Engines.
The reason your lovely boss and others around the world don't use it.......?
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$

TCP the neuro toxin, is a anti-wearing, and also extends time between inspections!

$$$$$$ Vs. OUR HEALTH. (Pax too)

Any doubt?

Have a pleasant weekend!
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Old 26th Sep 2010, 11:36   #16 (permalink)
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Corporate cabin

Big corporations - especially Exxon - have a stinking record in more senses than one. This whole debacle has only continued due to corporate power. If there's continued boardroom resistance to common sense perhaps the boardroom & chief exec's offices should be fed their air supply from the same source.

It shouldn't take too much ingenuity to rig up a leaky turbofan to run the air con systems at head office.
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Old 27th Sep 2010, 08:08   #17 (permalink)
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A Manufacturers reply

I recieved a reply quickly since my last post and follow up call which they thanked my interest and indicated that our new technology is not required and they have a program being created regarding particulate and volotile organic compounds (VOC) filters, which will change the game without admitting there is an issue.

Could something be created that could phase out older A/C like the demise of the B727 and their noise issue of yesterday in Australian sky's?

Preferably, a simple filter modified to undertake particulate and VOC vapours, from the,

1. Recirculation system (saves fuel and a great place to mix everthing up and redistribute to cabin outlets) Present practice incorporates a particulate filter which is changed regularly. Easy
2. Install a porous inner wall duct filter downstream of the water separators prior to cabin entry could save some older A/C if new technology superseeds them eventually. Harder to achieve due supply must not be interupted.

Our test show adsorbing/absorbing vapours puts out fires so why not have the side wall linings made of this new Gee Wiz stuff. I am a consultant by family association and medium discovered accidentally, with such a material and it is 100% recyclable.

A cynic might think there is a race to reverse engineer it or obtain it by other means.

PS. I may be too small for them to take notice with the stakes so high. I have been carefull not to name names.

Very important to write up odour events for trend monitoring and necessary action.

I have been talking to the appropiate people since 2005 and patiently waited for my last reply from an interested manufacturer as mentioned, for 12 months,(Disappointed with response, initial correspondance advised they will fund testing). hence the posts.

My team consider approaching the issue from the less obvious tasks and as a consequence just happen to purge and evacuate the Toxic Hydrocarbons.

We have more work to do, there is more than one way to skin a cat and punching the big guys on the nose is not one of them.
The front door seems closed for now.

S 48 A

Last edited by Section 48 Ace; 28th Sep 2010 at 19:48. Reason: spell check and update.
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Old 27th Sep 2010, 08:44   #18 (permalink)
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A/C cabins are a confined space and create body odours, Galley odours, lavortory odours and can suffer engine oil vapours, Straight away pillows which adsorb unwanted vapours could be placed in overhead lockers until vapour filters are fitted to various systems.
The problem is not the smell, but the fact that you get poisoned if you ask me.
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Old 6th Oct 2010, 11:21   #19 (permalink)
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Phew - unhealthy cabin air is a myth....

Aircraft cabin air no more a health threat than sitting in an office | Mail Online

Perhaps the Australian cabin crew and Judge were wrong - all along.

It's a myth after all.....!

Phew - which chemicals are in those visible fumes in 1 in 2,000 flights.

Who cares?

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Old 6th Oct 2010, 13:07   #20 (permalink)
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Another related battle in Chicago

Keep your eyes on a lawsuit on a similar matter in Chicago, Illinois. It is by twenty passengers on an XL Airways Boeing 767 back in 2007, when a fume event at altitude seemingly liberated VOCs, with nasty results.

Boeing and others tried to get the case thrown out and back to the UK, but lost in a headline decision earlier this year in May. The case now proceeds in Chicago to damages. Watch this space.

The important issue for all here is that a single fume event is much less complex to prove in law, than prolonged exposure by flight or cabin crew to conditions, say in a 146 or 757. Something lawyers cause "causation" is the heart of the matter for these types of case.

As a matter of decency and simply doing the right thing, there has been a deliberate ducking of this issue by the industry for far too long. David Learmount and others are correct to call it the dirty little secret of the aviation industry, ably abetted by insurance companies and others who are keen to protect their capital from claims.

There will be "an Erin Brokovic" for toxic cabin air, it is just a matter of time.
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