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Aerotoxic in the news

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Aerotoxic in the news

Old 26th Apr 2015, 14:43
  #541 (permalink)  
 
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The Air safety group can state anything they want.

They have zero authority or power to enforce it though.

If I go on telly and say that I am sure that the airliners flying over my house are killing the fairies that used to live in my garden, it is not their responsibility to prove that I am wrong.

It is basically impossible to prove a negative.
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Old 26th Apr 2015, 16:13
  #542 (permalink)  
 
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At the risk of repeating myself to selective deaf ears: "Maybe some of our more erudite posters could enlighten me, and others, as to why engine manufacturers spend huge amounts of time & money investigating and trying to eradicate negligible amounts of odour in the cabin bleed system."

Any factual answers gentlemen?
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Old 26th Apr 2015, 16:20
  #543 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by explorer61 View Post
May I point Nemrytter in the direction of Air Safety Group Report, which I posted earlier. Notably to paragraph 7. This states that the burden of proof actually lies with the manufacturers and operators. The proof that the working environment is safe. So let's have some "scientific, peer reviewed evidence" that A) That toxins do not and can not get into the aircraft cabin air supply, and B) That if such toxins do get in to the aircraft cabin, they do not, and can not cause harm to people in the aircraft.
This is proving a negative which is infeasible.

"That toxins do not and can not get into the aircraft cabin air supply" Of course toxins can get into the cabin air supply as it is based on ambient air so if the aircraft flies or taxies through air containing a trace of something with the potential to be toxic, the sulfur from a preceding aircraft, the smoke from a wet start APU, its own exhaust gases etc it _will_ get into the air supply.

There will always be people susceptible to some toxins so again the "do not, and can not cause harm to people in the aircraft" is always true. There will be some who will die if particular allergens are on board not only peanuts. So this is an always positive test.

Do the simple cheap things first. All the crew claiming aerotoxic syndrome should have their acetylcholinesterase levels assessed to see if they are at low levels. Crews who have not been affected should also start a profile of their acetylcholinesterase levels. This will give a comparator and show whether you are below the normal for the pilot group it will also allow the crews to be alert to falling levels that may indicate they are being affected.

The fact that there are thousands of pilots flying who are not affected indicates that whatever affects you does not affect them; at least to the same degree. If you can show nevertheless that their acetylcholinesterase levels are dropping then you have a far stronger case.

If only your group affected show low acetylcholinesterase levels then the case is different. Equivalent to: "Should all airlines stop serving any food to which anyone is potentially allergic?" It also raises the question of being affected by something not to do with aircraft and perhaps exacerbated by low pressure and lowered blood oxygen levels for long periods.

If your group does not show depressed acetylcholinesterase levels then it may not be organophosphates that caused the problem. I am not saying it is not real, I am saying that the wrong causal agent may be being targeted. It could be the lavatory disinfectant perhaps. This is an important aspect to clarify.

Note that all proposed tests above could be initiated and carried out by crews themselves at very low cost. Providing a real observational dataset. As it has not already been done it weakens your case.
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Old 26th Apr 2015, 16:42
  #544 (permalink)  
 
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Grrr 787

Tourist, tests have already been done on a 787, and they managed to prove that it was free from organophosphates. But it would be wouldn't it!
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Old 26th Apr 2015, 18:46
  #545 (permalink)  
 
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If they found no organophosphates in a 787, then the test wasn't done properly.

They are everywhere. The question is merely "how much?", and perhaps "is that too much?"
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Old 26th Apr 2015, 21:32
  #546 (permalink)  
 
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At the risk of repeating myself to selective deaf ears: "Maybe some of our more erudite posters could enlighten me, and others, as to why engine manufacturers spend huge amounts of time & money investigating and trying to eradicate negligible amounts of odour in the cabin bleed system."
I will hazard a guess so that the oppositions marketing department doesn't compare theirs to the smelly ones.
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Old 26th Apr 2015, 22:13
  #547 (permalink)  
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It would appear that the UK governement and the authorities are very used to covering up the ill effects of Organophosphates:

That sheep-dip poisoning disaster they tried to keep secret - Telegraph
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 05:34
  #548 (permalink)  
 
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Very droll rh200.
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 08:43
  #549 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pacific Blue View Post
It would appear that the UK governement and the authorities are very used to covering up the ill effects of Organophosphates:

That sheep-dip poisoning disaster they tried to keep secret - Telegraph
Well that definitely proves AS is real...
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 09:07
  #550 (permalink)  
 
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No it doesn't prove it's real. It does, however, make a mockery of some of the emotional declarations above that governments and big industry don't try and sweep things under the carpet to save money. They obviously do.

LSM, you have stated that you have nearly 5000 hours on the Bae146, I did ask you if you had been tested for OPIDN, you did not respond. Can we assume this means you have not been tested? If so, how do you know you are not effected?

Tourist has stated "I am a navy pilot", this statement indicates that he is early on in his career and is most probably not flying aircraft that have a (contaminated) bleed supply. He is coming across as "a little wet behind the ears", and seems determined not to listen to the 10,000-20,000 hour Captains that he may be flying with in the future. As stated previously on PPRuNe, the commercial aviation business is a "safety critical" industry and does not lend itself well to overconfident Pilots. This may be in evidence in the accident record of my previous company, approximately 50% ex military Pilots having 100% of the companies accidents.

I am not knocking the skills of ex military Pilots here, I do, however, wish to point out that the "there is no problem" attitude has no place in civilian aviation.

Also for Tourist, the simple fact that the University project looking into this problem has tested many 787s and found no trace of OPs simply means there is none above the lower detection limit, as opposed to "significant" results of positive for OPs as found on every test on every other "dirty bleed" type.

I expect Kenv will be back on shortly at 1300UTC when he gets back in the office. I hope his boss is ok with him spending so much time defending the undefendable. He has admitted that Jet engines have bleed leaks in his statement that "these engines hardly ever leak". Which means that they do!

lastly in reply to Ian W above (the first naysayer to post anything useful or relevant), specifically your statement that the similar illness experienced by so many of us prior to any knowledge of this illness or any of the symptoms of the others (telepathic nocebo effect) could be caused by exposure to chemicals from the Aircraft toilet. The answer is yes it could.

Since my early on symptoms were ONLY apparent when I flew my type and not at home or during holidays I know with absolute certainty that the root cause of this illness was the Aircraft. After reflection on the possibility of it being from toilet chemicals, the answer is an emphatic no. I operated many very short flights without even opening the toilet door, this flights often produced both a waxy oily odor and my symptoms (gastrointestinal disturbances, burning eyes etc etc).

The only need for myself and others is to prove this in court (not my choice, my company chose to treat me with absolute contempt in regard to this problem), which means "balance of probabilities", or "beyond reasonable doubt".

Last edited by NOMANSNEMESIS; 27th Apr 2015 at 09:40. Reason: typo
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 09:29
  #551 (permalink)  
 
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Balance Of Probabilities

"in civil cases the standard of proof is the balance of probabilities. This means that the Court will assess the oral, documentary and real evidence advanced by each party and decides which case is more probable. To put it another way, on the evidence, which occurrence of the event was more likely than not."

For the benefit of Tourist, that is the definition for the balance of probabilities, and as he is the sort of person who would deny that the sun rises in the east, I though it worth noting!
Anyway, let's have a look at some facts. I have been diagnosed as having OPIN (organophosphate induced neuropathy), by an extremely eminent scientist. Those particular organophosphates have been found in the air I was breathing onboard the aircraft I flew. The oil which was used in the engines warned about the dangers of breathing in the fumes from that oil, and specifically that it could cause nerve damage, which is what I have got. With that in mind, would he say that the "probability" of my health problems being caused by the environment on the aircraft are:
A) Very probable.
B) Probable.
C) Not atall probable
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 09:48
  #552 (permalink)  
 
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May I point Nemrytter in the direction of Air Safety Group Report, which I posted earlier.
You may. However, I've already seen it
This states that the burden of proof actually lies with the manufacturers and operators.
That's all well and good, but if either of those two 'prove' that there's no threat then do you think some of the more vocal critics will actually believe them? An independent study is needed, not one involving any parties with something to gain/lose from this.
So let's have some "scientific, peer reviewed evidence" that A) That toxins do not and can not get into the aircraft cabin air supply, and B) That if such toxins do get in to the aircraft cabin, they do not, and can not cause harm to people in the aircraft.
As others have stated this is impossible:
A) These things get everywhere, they're in the air in my house, in the air in my car and in the air in my aircraft. The important point is how much of them there is in a particular environment. So far all peer-reviewed evidence shows that no 'unsafe' levels have been detected in aircraft cabin air. Although, as the ASG states, no major fume events were monitored thus far.
B) This can be a very individual thing. Based on current standards and measurements there have been no harmful levels of toxins (as you call them) in the cabin air. That doesn't mean there can't ever be and doesn't mean that some people won't be affected even by the very low concentrations that have been detected.

You cannot prove a negative, you cannot prove something is never dangerous.

Last edited by Nemrytter; 27th Apr 2015 at 13:22. Reason: Edited
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 10:01
  #553 (permalink)  
 
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Nice try Noman.

I have less than 20,000 hrs, but my hours are nearly all unique, not the same hour 20,000 times like airline captains.

Happy to measure cv's if you want?

This does not make me wet behind the ears, it makes me have low tolerance for types who get sand in their about a little smoke in the cockpit.

Every job has its irritations. There is pollution in cities that would never be allowed in the cockpit, but for some reason aviation safety and health is taken all out of proportion.

Cars kill a million a year but they are just ignored. You are safer and healthier in a cockpit than in your bedroom so man up.
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 10:22
  #554 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NOMANSNEMESIS View Post
LSM, you have stated that you have nearly 5000 hours on the Bae146, I did ask you if you had been tested for OPIDN, you did not respond. Can we assume this means you have not been tested? If so, how do you know you are not effected?
No, I haven't been tested. The well being and health of most people is usually pretty obvious to themselves. Whilst I have had some of the symptoms of AS they are easily explainable.
  1. Fatigue feeling exhausted, even after sleep
    - Not slept enough, worked too hard.
  2. Blurred or tunnel vision
    - Only above 6g
  3. Shaking and tremors
    - Hangover
  4. Loss of balance and vertigo
    - fissed as a part
  5. Seizures
    - Never
  6. Loss of consciousness
    - Sambucca
  7. Memory impairment
    - Sambucca
  8. Headache
    - Hangover
  9. Tinnitus
    - Nope
  10. Light-headedness, dizziness
    - Fissed as a part again
  11. Confusion / cognitive problems
    - Sambucca
  12. Feeling intoxicated
    - Sambucca
  13. Nausea
    - Sambucca
  14. Diarrhoea
    - Kebab
  15. Vomiting
    - Sambucca and Kebab
  16. Coughs
    - 20 a day for 15 years. Not since I gave up
  17. Breathing difficulties (shortness of breath)
    - 20 a day for 15 years. Not since I gave up
  18. Tightness in chest
    - Nope
  19. Respiratory failure requiring oxygen
    - Nope
  20. Increased heart rate
    - Sambucca, 20 a day, Squash, blo jobs
  21. Irritation of eyes, nose and upper airways.
    - Skydrol at 3000psi in the face

Perhaps I could get some triple professor to tell Molinari their booze is toxic!
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 11:26
  #555 (permalink)  
 
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No Ken, this is not the proof for AS. However, I think it is fair to say that this shows that "some" parts of the industry are acknowledging the problem, and are trying to do something about it. Just like the company which has developed the filters as fitted to DHL aircraft. If the problem doesn't exist, why are companies addressing it?
You think it's "fair to say?" I don't think so at all. In my opinion what you are doing is "jumping to conclusions"

"Why were those filters fitted to DHL aircraft?" Well, not because they are trying to prevent aerotoxic syndrome. You are making another hugely leaping conclusion. Just as Boeing did NOT go to a bleedless cabin pressurization system on the 787 to avoid aerotoxic syndrome, the filters "fitted to DHL aircraft" do not prevent aerotoxic syndrome.

Last edited by KenV; 27th Apr 2015 at 11:52.
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 11:51
  #556 (permalink)  
 
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Anyway, let's have a look at some facts. I have been diagnosed as having OPIN (organophosphate induced neuropathy), by an extremely eminent scientist.
OK.

Those particular organophosphates have been found in the air I was breathing onboard the aircraft I flew.
And those "particular phosphates have been found in the air" of essentially every urban and rural environment on the planet. So the "balance of probability" you spoke of does NOT favor your conclusion.


The oil which was used in the engines warned about the dangers of breathing in the fumes from that oil, and specifically that it could cause nerve damage, which is what I have got.
Oil in a can is very very different than oil in the air you breathe. You have provided no evidence to show that the oil in the can got into the air you breathed. So the "balance of probability" you spoke of does NOT favor your conclusion.

With that in mind, would he say that the "probability" of my health problems being caused by the environment on the aircraft are:
A) Very probable.
B) Probable.
C) Not atall probable
D) Extremely remote.
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 11:54
  #557 (permalink)  
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The DHL 757's were inherited from BA and reknowned for their above average fume problems. For what other reason would they fit the filters? Incredible that cargo aircraft are given more preventative measures than those flying hundreds of passengers each day. At least the air mail is free of OP's.
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 12:21
  #558 (permalink)  
 
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At the time that the ex-BA 757s were acquired by DHL, there was suspicion about 146s and 757s having too many fume events. This suspicion has never gone away.

I can't remember who was running the UK DHL fleet at the time, and I can't remember the Ops boss, but more than one Senior Director in DHL was an ex-BA pilot. Maybe he or someone else had a word?.

Given all the work that was done on the 757s, the cost of a filter would not have been noticed, so the decision could have been taken quite a way down the food chain.

In those days there were a lot of very separate DHL empires, and decisions/decision makers were difficult to track down.
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 12:24
  #559 (permalink)  
 
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This thread is still suffering from a lack of what might be called Pure Logic.

Surely someone can list the known facts and the unknowns in a series of Logical statements, of the True/Untrue/Unknown sort so that we can move towards a Problem Statement??
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 12:56
  #560 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NOMANSNEMESIS View Post
lastly in reply to Ian W above (the first naysayer to post anything useful or relevant), specifically your statement that the similar illness experienced by so many of us prior to any knowledge of this illness or any of the symptoms of the others (telepathic nocebo effect) could be caused by exposure to chemicals from the Aircraft toilet. The answer is yes it could.

Since my early on symptoms were ONLY apparent when I flew my type and not at home or during holidays I know with absolute certainty that the root cause of this illness was the Aircraft. After reflection on the possibility of it being from toilet chemicals, the answer is an emphatic no. I operated many very short flights without even opening the toilet door, this flights often produced both a waxy oily odor and my symptoms (gastrointestinal disturbances, burning eyes etc etc).

The only need for myself and others is to prove this in court (not my choice, my company chose to treat me with absolute contempt in regard to this problem), which means "balance of probabilities", or "beyond reasonable doubt".
Thank you for accepting I am trying to be 'useful and relevant'.

What I actually said was:

The fact that there are thousands of pilots flying who are not affected indicates that whatever affects you does not affect them; at least to the same degree. If you can show nevertheless that their acetylcholinesterase levels are dropping then you have a far stronger case.

If only your group affected show low acetylcholinesterase levels then the case is different. Equivalent to: "Should all airlines stop serving any food to which anyone is potentially allergic?" It also raises the question of being affected by something not to do with aircraft and perhaps exacerbated by low pressure and lowered blood oxygen levels for long periods.

If your group does not show depressed acetylcholinesterase levels then it may not be organophosphates that caused the problem. I am not saying it is not real, I am saying that the wrong causal agent may be being targeted. It could be the lavatory disinfectant perhaps. This is an important aspect to clarify.

Note that all proposed tests above could be initiated and carried out by crews themselves at very low cost. Providing a real observational dataset. As it has not already been done it weakens your case.

Do the tests for Organophosphate poisoning which would normally be a test of the level of acetylcholinesterase - if you (ideally the group of affected pilots and rear crew) show lowered levels in comparison to a control group then you have observational data that cannot be called anecdotal. However, as I said in the highlighted point - if you do NOT show lowered level of acetylcholinesterase it may be something else in the aircraft causing the problem - that does not make the problem less real or reduce the need to do something by the aircraft operators and manufacturers.

This is the logical approach to gathering unassailable data.
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