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Aerotoxic in the news

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Aerotoxic in the news

Old 23rd Feb 2015, 10:35
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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the absolutely foul stench of organophosphates.

I have many thousands of hours oc 757 work under my belt but have well outlived my three score years and ten. I do, however, have many memories of tech log entries about a foul stench coming from the air conditioning for a few minutes at a time, reminiscent of rotting socks and usually, IIRC, when descending through FL300 (for a reason I never discovered). "Take your socks to the dhoby" was the usual engineer's response.
Prober
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 10:48
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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I don't understand why some people play this down so much. There is without a doubt an issue with the bleed air system which has caused people to become sick and possibly even die from it.

Its a serious health issue that we know little about and needs to be investigated and monitored even if it costs the airlines or the engine manufacturers millions who cares!? Right? Safety first? or is it money first then our health second?

This is a great article even though its from 2008.

Toxic fumes in airliner cabins ignored by authorities - 5/6/2008 - Flight Global
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 10:51
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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I surely don't need to remind you of the nonsense of car testing to produce the artificial figures for MGP and emissions for new cars? You know, the ones where alternators are disconnected, doors taped up, engines heat-soaked overnight, all excess weight stripped out, even heavy standard equipment that is needed for ACTUAL driving, just to get a good figure for the brochure - figures that you and I can never match. in the real world.
Thats called functional testing, most testing is done to a specific standard so they can be compared correctly by professionals. Deciphering the actual results can be hard if you are not sure what parasitic loads have been removed.

At the end of the day, the testing is about consistency, why? because everything and every one is different in how they drive. It is a well known placebo phenomena when putting all those shonky save you some miles gadgets on your car. Likewise when dynoed they are usually bullsh!t.

For example, do you have the alternator disconnected when testing, of course you do, why, consistency. Why does it matter, it pulls a lot of power at times, state of the battery, aircondtioner, lights on, off etc.

The key thing to remember about the air issue is, differentiating a failure from well functioning system. There is no doubt that some of the stuff is toxic, but at what levels and in a perfectly good functioning system is it an issue? Then you factor in wear, and then a failure, Hence the statistics end up low, and hence the risk factor is low.
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 11:00
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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"The pax would all get off in a rush.." How would they do that at FL 350 Henry?

Prober, you've described the scenario exactly; fume events have often coincided with a power change, perhaps as it alters the pressure on the seals. The fact you've lived through it in no way disproves anything. Exposure doesn't affect everyone the same way.
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 11:03
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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There is without a doubt an issue with the bleed air system which has caused people to become sick and possibly even die from it.
So why is there never any peer-reviewed experimental data on this?
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 11:14
  #46 (permalink)  
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 11:20
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That's not peer-reviewed.
The only peer-reviewed literature I can find on this (using data gathered either from crew blood / urine samples or from air sampling) states that concentrations are 'low' or 'below detection'.
That doesn't mean that this is not a serious problem - just that this statement "There is without a doubt an issue....caused people to become sick and possibly even die from it." is incorrect. There is plenty of doubt.
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 11:39
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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F6, please be aware that some of the incidents in that article were reported by people who, shall we say, had a bee in their bonnet about fumes.

I flew the 146 for several years and every "fumes" incident I had was with either of the two most well known and vocal fume sufferers.
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 11:41
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Legal implications

Legal implications can be massive for airliners and manufacturers.
This is why, at this stage, I do not trust anybody except the victims, the ones who have died or became seriously ill have been kept out of the media attention for many years.
When there is a massive amount of money involved we all must be extremely aware of the risks of manipulation, ranging from testing stage to final statistical results. This is a fact.
This syndrome could become a huge issue especially from a legal and financial compensation point of view. Money involved here is well beyond our imagination.
I only know that there is a real problem, not affecting 100% of occupants, true, but despite % and stats aircraft air contamination remains a problem which can be easily fixed.
I genuinely believe that those pilots who have suffered from serious health issues (including death) linked to this syndrome are not "making it up or being exaggerated" , they are real cases proving that there is a tangible aerotoxic problem.
For too long the authorities have tried to ignore this problem. Successfully until now.
Media attention is quickly changing this trend. A bit late, as usual but a significant improvement.

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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 11:43
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Nemrytter im not sure where the doubt with you lays.

The engine manufacturers admit that a small amount of oil escapes through the seals into the bleed air. Thats when the engine is all shinny and new what about after 10000hrs?

Inhaling fumes from burnt oil from a jet engine is toxic to humans. I dont need a peer review to tell me that lol it even says it on the oil container.

The only doubt we have is about what cocktail of chemicals is in the air we breath during flights and how much of it is dangerous in the short term and in the long term.
Yes concentrations are low but how will exposure to low concentrations affect us over a 5 day block of flights? over a month? a year? 20 years? The body expels the toxins through the liver...how may of us are going to be on a liver transplant list in 20 years?
The average life of a short haul pilot now is 66 thats if you are lucky....
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 11:53
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Nemrytter im not sure where the doubt with you lays.
The doubt lies in whether a problem even exists here.
There needs to be proper, unbiased, scientific investigations into the chemicals present in cabin air. All the studies (that I can find) so far have said that toxic chemicals are either not detectable or are present in such small quantities as to be non-harmful. The only exception - to my knowledge - was one datapoint on one flight that was conducted with a damaged engine. On that flight the concentration was high enough to pose a problem if the crew/pax had been subject to long term exposure.

These studies have all been rather limited in scope, though. Hence why we need a proper peer-reviewed investigation into this. I mean this in the nicest possible way but hearsay and comments like "lol it even says so on the container" are unhelpful. They skew perception and do not present a true picture of what we're experiencing.

Anyway, I think we can both agree that this needs to be investigated further.
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 12:03
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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A serious question to the naysayers: modern FTL schemes are meant to ensure crew are fit and rested, but reported fatigue and certainly the general complaints about it are rising. Yes, a lot of us are working slightly more hours than in the past, but a lot of us aren't, so is it not implausible that what a lot of us consider to be fatigue is in fact, at least in part, due to repeated low level exposure to these neurotoxins? I bet a sensitive search on any pilot with regular flight over a year will show positive results.

Prober, it's interesting that there was a specific trend for fume occurrences. I have noticed the same thing on the 737NG between 5k and 8k, again at idle thrust with the same dirty socks smell, and only just rarely during take off.

The trouble is that the industry refuse to fit any kind of detection equipment, which means that pilot reports are largely ignored as frivolous or false. I'm sure that is not an accident. Fit an exposure indicator, similar to the CO detector dots in light piston aircraft, and it'd be there for all to see and undeniable by engineering and management.
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 12:14
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Quote:
In cert testing an engine for exhaust emissions - sampling is done at both the exhaust AND the inlet.

And it is not unusual for the exhaust to be CLEANER than the inlet air.

And I'm sure that any manufacturer can arrange many factors and conditions in a test to provide almost exactly the result they require.
Let's not muddy the discussion with emissions out the tailpipe exhaust (chemtrails etc.)

The passenger/crew cabin air concern has to do with persistent burnt oil fumes that find their way into the cabin.

I don't believe that the manufacturers or regulators are denying that such fumes exist or that they contain matter that could be harmful to your health in some quantities. heck many foods we eat also fit that bill .

The technical issue is how much and over what time period versus a scientifically validated cause-effect per human.

The engineers community can't eliminate anything, they can only minimize.

But what is an acceptable level?

They need the oil in order for the engines to survive long enough to complete a flight safely
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 13:23
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Dumb question

Why is the 757 bleed air quality apparently worse than that on 767?

Is it purely due to the engines fitted ?
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 14:50
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Why is the 757 bleed air quality apparently worse than that on 767?
As I noted earlier, there appears to be a significantly higher rate of 'fume' events on Rolls powered 757 (and 747) than for Pratt (and GE) - likely due to the more complex lube system required on a 3 spool engine.
Over half the 757s built were equipped with Rolls engines, where as less than 4% of all 767s built were fitted with Rolls engines.
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 15:02
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, in a word. Types which have flagged up prominently are BAe146, 757 and A 340, and even amongst those aircraft, certain sub-types of engine are worse than others.

Re. testing, it's entirely possible a brand new engine might deliver a very low concentration of toxins under test conditions and perform much less well after thousand hours wear on the seals.
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 15:15
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Mr A Shuffler

You hit the nail right on the head. The fact that manufacturers and airlines refuse to fit detectors, proves they know there is a problem. Otherwise detectors would refute all the misinformation.

I had a fumes incident on an A319, when the cabin literally filled with smoke just after landing. No mechanical fault was found and the aircraft was run for 4 hours to try and clear residues from the aircon plumbing, before we flew it home empty the next day. Despite no further visible sign of fumes, On landing all crew reported nausea/headaches including cabin crew. I just regret we didn't all go for blood test.

It's real folks. But only a proper investigation will provide incontestable proof.

Last edited by goeasy; 24th Feb 2015 at 02:34. Reason: the next day
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 15:24
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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You hit the nail right on the head. The fact that manufacturers and airlines refuse to fit detectors, proves they know there is a problem. Otherwise detectors would refute all the misinformation.
Why don't you bring your own detector into the cabin with a certified Go-NoGo"

gauge and what would you do mid-flight ?
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 15:43
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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It is very real indeed

We all know this is very real, why many in here keep denying reality is beyond logics. Are you really completely brainwashed by your employer to the point that you are blind and deaf hence you ignore all those around you telling that there is a problem.
The media will not let this go away anymore, there is more than enough evidence to push for the mandatory introduction of new legislation, mandatory sensors, etc... we will then go from there.

There is also a film on this subject coming out soon:
A Dark Reflection - Film - The issue

I have not watched the film and I did not need this film to tell me there is a real problem. There is a huge number of real cases, many are fully documented. Real people have died, real people have been sick and ill.
It is not over-reaction, it is not isolated cases.
It is a systemic failure which must be stopped.
A bit late but still a massive improvement, at least now we can talk about it without being labelled negatively.
Only a few months ago many of us could not even mention Aerotoxic syndrome without being labelled as trouble-makers, incredible.
Nearly all airlines are affected and nearly all equipment types.


Nothing to do with pessimism, this is just reality.
PROFIT BEFORE SAFETY

There is also a documentary start in here http://aerotoxicfilm.com/

Last edited by ILS27LEFT; 23rd Feb 2015 at 15:55. Reason: Addition
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Old 23rd Feb 2015, 15:53
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Aerotoxicity

Fairly obviously you're going to feel ill if the cabin fills with smoke. What we're talking about here is the possibility of an insidious effect from long term exposure to conditioned air. I flew for 35 years, long haul and short and so far I'm OK and so are all of my peers - maybe we've been lucky.
Whilst not dismissing the idea, I did feel very dubious when I saw that it was a well known ex BA guy who was making a lot of noise about this. Are we to expect class actions and lawyers drumming up support to sue the airlines for mega bucks?
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