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Aerotoxic in the news

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Aerotoxic in the news

Old 26th Feb 2015, 10:18
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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The scant few official studies have been tiny and carried out by authorities with the same attitude and vested interests as KenV, with a coverup the outcome.
Define 'official study'. Who counts as an official? Because it sounds like in your mind anyone who is an official has a vested interest. Handy, it means you can automatically discount all their work.
TCP decomposes at between 80 and 90oC, bleed air temperatures are in excess of 200.
Prove it. All the documentation I can find suggests that TCP degrades above ~300C.
For example: https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...09bquj-e-e.pdf
The small sample in Germany (six aircraft, I believe) that was referred to was done by German media. They arguably have an interest in a crisis story, so it is debatable how unbiased their study was too, but I recall they detected organophosphates on all six aircraft, including new A320s and 737s.
You would detect organophosphates standing outside the aircraft too - they're in the atmosphere anyway.
As has been said multiple times already in this thread: It's not the detection that's important, it's the amount that's detected and - to my knowledge - no harmful amounts have been detected in a correctly functioning aircraft. If you have actual proof of harmful levels of TCP/organophosphates (i.e: Not just hearsay or journalist talk) then please post it.
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 10:23
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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House of Lords - Science and Technology - Fifth Report


4.38 Rolls-Royce stated that all current TCP used in the formulation of aviation lubricants contained far less than 0.1% TOCP and that, in fully formulated oils, TOCP was at practically undetectable parts-per-billion levels (p 271). ExxonMobil noted that jet engine oils formulated with TCP[<a href="http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199900/ldselect/ldsctech/121/12107.htm#note57">57] are not classified as dangerous according to the toxicological criteria defined in the Dangerous Substances Directive (p 232).
4.39 Calculations by Airbus Industrie (Q 461 and refined in subsequent correspondence) showed that the worst-case scenario of the total discharge of an engine's lubricant into the engine would result in about 0.4 kg of oil passing into the cabin ventilation systems. Assuming that the oil contained 3% TCP, of which 0.1% was TOCP, the peak cabin atmosphere TOCP level would be about 0.025 mg/m3, reducing as a result of normal ventilation thereafter. The peak level would be a quarter of the workplace limit of 0.1 mg/m3 (and less than a tenth of the emergency workplace limit of 0.3 mg/m3). Contamination at much lower levels would result in visible smoke and odour which would normally result in the crew switching off the ventilation feed from the affected engine.


Of course the concerned people should try to gather more data but also should publish also the quantity detected .Simply detecting the stuff is of no importance since quantities barely detectable are not dangerous .Also TCP is NOT TOCP and the toxicity of one is very different fom the other
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 10:44
  #103 (permalink)  
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Now a recent cabin crew members death is being linked to OP poisoning:

Questions remain over air steward's death - ITV News
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 11:35
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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And so we go round in circles, the deniers saying "prove it", when the only people with the resources to study it refuse to do so without any given reason, claiming there is no evidence of a problem, and yet with a very heavy financial reason for denying the issue. Asking a line pilot to prove this is ridiculous, but there is plenty of evidence to the open minded that objective and large scale testing is needed. Asking individuals with no resources and no biochemistry PHDs to prove things, citing their lack of proof of the problem as concrete proof of a lack of a problem is as infantile as it is disingenuous.
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 13:43
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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Much of what we are seeing happening stems from the quite understandable desire to find out, if you became unwell, what made you unwell. It is much more difficult to do this for an individual, than it is to make statistical pronouncements about a population. Unless there is a bullet hole or something really obvious, you can only really guess or assign probabilities from the millions of possible causes, the most likely of which may be <0.1% of the total.

At the moment, there doesn’t appear to be any data which shows a significant difference between aircrew and the general population in terms of “aerotoxic symptoms”. So far, tests on board aircraft have shown little evidence of contamination above what you’d find in the general environment. None of this means that there isn’t a problem, just that with the current data we can’t draw any conclusions. Hopefully, in the near future, the datasets will be expanded enabling more refined methods to be used.

Supposing tomorrow the engine/airframe manufacturers and the airlines unanimously decided that for PR purposes, they’d fit filters, etc. Wouldn’t that be a great result? In some ways, yes, as you could cross 'TOCP poisoning from the bleed air’ off the list of worries when you go flying. Would it cure “aerotoxity”? Who knows? We don’t know what causes it (or if it exists) in the first place. The cure could be a complete placebo. In the meantime all the research and publicity will go somewhere else because the problem has been fixed.

It’s bad science when you start taking action without some kind of significant proof. It’s bad in engineering terms too. Even from a CRM point of view, it’s not a good idea. Look at the recent TransAsia crash, there was some “belief” in the cockpit that the left engine wasn’t working, even though the FDR shows the right one had actually failed - it seems that “belief” was stronger than instrument indications that day and they ended up shutting down the good engine too. Most of us who fly draw back in horror from such a scenario, so why do some feel the need to accept inadequate data and faulty logic elsewhere? Maybe because it’s an emotive subject and keeping objectivity is very difficult...?
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 17:19
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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It is simple to blame poorly maintained engines and the potential fumes from them being fed into the cabin as bleed air. However, they are not the only source of chemicals that could affect people who are sensitive to them. There are many VOCs given off by the plastics in seats and cabin trim and the various adhesives used. These will vary as the fittings in the aircraft age are repaired and replaced, and may be more apparent in aircraft at 8000ft pressure than they would be testing for them on the ground.

Some people are extremely sensitive to some compounds - people with peanut allergies can be affected by nuts just in the same room. So it may not be a simple check the bleed air approach that is needed. Obviously, there may be some cases where on one flight a whole crew is affected where it is obvious it is something -on that flight- but it could be the wrong or too much chemical in the lavatory system or a disinfectant chemical used by the cleaners just as much as the bleed air.

It does look as if bleed air is getting the blame as it is easy to blame. There needs to be far more careful research. It is a real problem for some people, but taking the wrong action in an attempt to solve it will not help them.
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 19:02
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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This is getting ridiculous. At the risk of continuing the ridiculous I will venture a reply.

The scant few official studies have been tiny and carried out by authorities with the same attitude and vested interests as KenV, with a coverup the outcome
Vested interest?!
Absolute BS. I work in the aircraft maintenance and mod industry. If anything, I would have a “vested interest” in confirming this myth because it would send lots of work and LOTS of money my way to “fix” this alleged-problem.

Coverup?!
Absolute BS. The same folks who “coverup” this myth are the same folks who “coverup” the “immunizations cause autism” myth. The latter myth was proven and admitted to be a willful hoax using false data.

TCP decomposes at between 80 and 90oC, bleed air temperatures are in excess of 200.
Absolute BS If this were true, the lubricants would “decompose” while sitting in the oil sumps with the equipment not running. And that’s utter nonsense.

Oil from the front compressor bearings can escape the seals into the airflow before the bleed valves.
ONLY true if the seals and other parts fail. And even then, the seals are at atmospheric pressure while the compressors are by definition at higher pressure. Oil can only seep into the airflow when the engine is shut down and would then be immediately blown out at start up. That’s why the pilots on this forum report an occasional puff of smoke at start up.

you only need the engineers to be in the habit of overfilling the (hydraulic) reservoirs and a slightly leaky check valve and the fluid can seep into the pneumatic manifold.
Once again, multiple failures are required, including human AND mechanical. And even then, the hydraulic reservoir is at lower pressure than the pneumatic manifold when the system is running. Hydraulic fluid can only seep into the manifold after shut down, and this is immediately blown away at start up, causing the occasional “sweet” or “dirty socks” smell at start up.

I recall they detected organophosphates on all six aircraft, including new A320s and 737s.
Meaningless drivel. Take an air sample in a hospital operating room and you’ll detect organophosphates.

there is plenty of evidence to the open minded that objective and large scale testing is needed.
Total BS. A small scale random sampling can determine if a problem exists with well over 4 sigma confidence. If a problem is detected a larger testing regime can properly define the extent and nature of the problem.

And BTW, being “open minded” and “objective” goes BOTH ways. Now in your case you have decided, with essentially zero hard evidence, all of the following:
1. A serious health problem exists
2. Vested interests exist that deny the problem
3. Vested interests exist that prevent serious study of the problem
4. A “coverup”oexists involving the following:
a. Multiple industries
b. Multiple levels of government
c. Multiple governmental and industry agencies
d. Health agencies and experts
e. Multiple media outlets

Is just ONE of the above (much less all of the above) indicative of someone who is “open minded” and “objective”? Really??!

Now let’s look at the bigger picture:
1. IF this problem were real, air crew who have near constant exposure would be getting sick in significant numbers. That simply is not happening.

2. Submarines use the same lubricants in equipment with the same or similar operating conditions. But unlike airplanes whose atmosphere is exchanged several times per hour, submarines operate for weeks or months with an essentially 100% closed environment. IF this problem were real, dozens or hundreds of sailors would get sick with each deployment. That simply is not happening.

3. The International Space Station also uses these lubricants and their environment has been closed for well over a DECADE. IF this problem were real astronauts/cosmonauts would be getting mighty sick. That simply is not happening.
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 19:14
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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There are many VOCs given off by the plastics in seats and cabin trim and the various adhesives used. These will vary as the fittings in the aircraft age are repaired and replaced, and may be more apparent in aircraft at 8000ft pressure than they would be testing for them on the ground.
Hmmmm. Numerous studies have shown that the adhesives, paints, plastics, etc used in homes and building give off far more VOCs and other pollutants than those in aircraft. Further, the atmosphere in an aircraft, unlike a home, is completely exchanged several times per hour, so the pollutants cannot build up. Homes (especially modern "green" homes built to tight thermal standards) have FAR greater VOC concentrations and air pollution than aircraft. And even greater than most polluted city air.


Some people are extremely sensitive to some compounds - people with peanut allergies can be affected by nuts just in the same room.
Glad you brought that up. Several years ago airlines stopping serving peanuts for that very reason. Yet, they are serving peanuts again!! How can that be? Simple. First, the risk itself was overblown. Second, the high air exchange rate in pressurized aircraft make even the small risk vanishingly smaller.
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 19:16
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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As I said earlier, when I lost my kidneys, the consultant who is one of Britains top renal docs, Said "Have you been in contact with oil?" He had no knowledge of aircraft problems, so regardless what the doubters say, there could be a clue there.
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 19:33
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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Hmmm. What kind of "oil"? Crude oil? Whale oil? Engine oil? French fry oil? Skin moisturizer oil? Turbo machinery oil?

What kind of "contact"? Immersion? Occasional dermal contact? Ingested? Inhaled? Combination of the above?

I'd say there is no "clue" here at all, but a jumping to conclusions.
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 20:26
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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There are two streams for outcomes in this argument.

1) Is there a large scale problem affecting significant percentage of the population, aircrew or general.

The answer is most likely no, but maybe its sitting below the noise.

2) Is there a problem that can affect a statistical insignificant amount of the population.

Very possible, but what else in our every day lives don't. Every day people have severe reactions to all sorts of things. So the question is do we we bother to do anything about it if that is the case.

Like every thing, its a cost benefit analysis. What is the cost of installing filter for example? Anyone have an idea on here?

Cost of modifications, certification, upkeep etc. What loss of efficiency if any and fuel burn. You don't install anything in a system without affecting its efficiency, no matter how small.
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 20:49
  #112 (permalink)  

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Think You're Allergic to Penicillin? Maybe Not ? WebMD

"Many Americans may check the box "allergic to penicillin" on medical forms, but new research suggests that most of them are mistaken.

Follow-up testing revealed that most people who believed they were allergic to penicillin were actually not allergic to the antibiotic, according to two new studies.

In one study, 94 percent of 384 people who believed they were allergic to penicillin tested negative for penicillin allergy.

And in the second study, penicillin skin testing was performed on 38 people who believed they were allergic to the antibiotic, and all of them tested negative for such an allergy.

The studies were to be presented Friday at the annual meeting of American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), in Atlanta.

"A large number of people in our study who had a history of penicillin allergy were actually not allergic," Dr. Thanai Pongdee, lead author of the first study, said in an ACAAI news release.

"They may have had an unfavorable response to penicillin at some point in the past, such as hives or swelling, but they did not demonstrate any evidence of penicillin allergy at the current time," Pongdee explained.

But such misconceptions might affect treatment. Once told that the patient thought he or she was allergic to penicillin, "their doctors prescribed different medications prior to surgery," Pongdee said. Those alternative antibiotics that may be more toxic and/or expensive, the ACAAI noted."


PS: An allergy is NOT the same as a toxic reaction

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Old 26th Feb 2015, 21:16
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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Extract from today's Sydney Morning Herald obituary for Prof. Christopher Winder:
...he was particularly interested in contaminated air on aircraft. Despite being constantly criticised, he dedicated more than two decades to researching and eventually he proved the existence of "Aerotoxic syndrome" in flight crew...
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 22:04
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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Experts' comments

"The government's position is that "normally" aircraft air is less contaminated than air "in many work environments such as office buildings".
The Department of Transport notes pilots and cabin crew have complained of ill-health but says a review by the independent Committee on Toxicity in 2007 "did not establish a link between cabin air and pilot ill health, but nor did it rule it out".
Professor Clement Furlong is a Professor of Medicine and Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. He gave evidence to the Committee and was puzzled by their conclusion.

"I think, as the airlines say, (cabin air) is generally safe," he told ITV News "but when it's not, it's really not. If you have a fume event or leaky seals and Tricresyl Phosphate (an organophospate compound) or other compounds come into the cabin it can cause permanent damage to individuals."


and:

it is obvious that IATA members remain unaware of the full scientific facts pertaining to this issue.“

OPEN LETTER

Professor David Coggon OBE, MA, PhD, DM, FRCP, FFOM, FFPH, F Med Sci
Chairman
The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment
Food Standards Agency
Aviation House
125 Kingsway
London WC2B 6NH

16 February 2015

Dear David,

Contamination of the Breathing Air Supply – Passengers: children, infants and the foetus

Further to our recent exchange of communications I have been looking at your presentation to the IATA 2014 Health Conference and reading a copy, I understand all members of the COT Committee have received the volume, of Captain John Hoyte’s book.

From your presentation I note your comment that:

“Patterns of illness that have been reported following fume events do not conform with what would be expected from exposure to triaryl phosphates
•Over-exposure to tricresyl phosphates would be expected to cause delayed peripheral neuropathy

Given the peer reviewed papers, especially from Prof Clem Furlong, that have been forwarded to the COT, I was surprised that the only stated consequence of over exposure to tricresyl phosphate was “delayed peripheral neuropathy”. You will be aware of Vyvyan Howard’s recent comments, attached, on this issue and indeed those of Professor Furlong:

“The issue of the disruption of gene expression, especially in the brain, by TAP exposures is another crucial area of research that needs to be examined. It is highly undesirable to disrupt the brain metabolism of pilots who are responsible for the safety of the aircrew and passengers; clearly, it is undesirable to disrupt the brain metabolism of any occupants of an aircraft. It is known that exposure to OP insecticides disrupts gene expression in mouse brain”

Additionally, reading Captain Hoyte’s book reminded me of the very real limitations of the Cranfield Study, you will know one of the peer reviewers is a COT Committee member, which formed the bedrock of your presentation.

Sadly, especially from the foregoing, it is obvious that IATA members remain unaware of the full scientific facts pertaining to this issue. Which is a great shame since they could then take heed of the sage comments of Sir Austin Bradford Hill and begin to take some appropriate executive action:

“All scientific work is incomplete, whether it be observational or experimental. All scientific work is liable to be upset or modified by advancing knowledge. That does not confer upon us a freedom to ignore the knowledge we already have, or to postpone the action that it appears to demand at a given time”.

Hill, Austin Bradford. “The environment and disease: association or causation?” Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 58: 295-300. (1965)
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 22:15
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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Kenv, your mind is obviously closed. As they say in Scotland, "There's nane sae blind as them that winny see"
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Old 27th Feb 2015, 09:17
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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And so we go round in circles, the deniers saying "prove it"...
These comments sound very much like standard conspiracy theorists, the ones who deny the moon landings took place or think that 9/11 was done by the CIA. I think that on this subject such behaviour is very damaging and serves only to discredit those who actually do want to properly examine aerotoxic syndrome.
, claiming there is no evidence of a problem,
Then please provide some, any, experimental evidence that there is a problem.
Asking a line pilot to prove this is ridiculous, but there is plenty of evidence to the open minded that objective and large scale testing is needed
Which makes it all the more strange that the only people (that I've heard) who think there is a problem are airline pilots. Everyone else (those who are actually qualified to study the problem, for instance) seems to think that either there is no problem or that there is not enough evidence.
Asking individuals with no resources and no biochemistry PHDs to prove things, citing their lack of proof of the problem as concrete proof of a lack of a problem is as infantile as it is disingenuous.
The only time, as far as I can see, that anyone asked you to 'prove it' in this thread was me: Asking for you to show evidence of the degeneration temperature of oils. I don't have a biochemistry PhD yet it took me (at a conservative estimate) 3 minutes on google to find that you were incorrect.
If you're not even prepared to do such basic research then why should anyone listen to your opinions on the subject?
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Old 27th Feb 2015, 09:56
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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Looking in the Wrong Place

To me, this whole issue is a beat-up by those wanting to get a golden handshakes on full pay and never need fly again, or to blame their own physical problems on something other than what they really know they did wrongly ( tobacco, alcohol and worse).

I have never experienced any toxic fumes onboard an aircraft in 50+ years as slf on a regular scheduled flight, RAAF, USN or as a general aviator.

I _have_ noticed the smell of fuel/oils around aircraft prior to entering. The parking areas are normally rife with spilt oils, and yes, they can be smelled. Maybe this is the area that should be concentrated on. Clean up the spills. Just look around any parking area airside.
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Old 27th Feb 2015, 11:49
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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Nemrytter

...These comments sound very much like standard conspiracy theorists, the ones who deny the moon landings took place or think that 9/11 was done by the CIA. I think that on this subject such behaviour is very damaging and serves only to discredit those who actually do want to properly examine aerotoxic syndrome .
My emphasis, and I agree completely.
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Old 27th Feb 2015, 12:38
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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That's quite an accusation, flynerd, and quite wrong. I have had numerous events of the "sock smell", which is oil passing through the aircon system. I have had one significant event, odourless, where the cabin crew and passengers were affected but not us in the cockpit. The cabin crew had symptoms which would be consistent with CO poisoning or hypoxia, though neither was the case, and within ten minutes of a midday take off, 80% or so of the 160ish pax were asleep; distinctly not normal. We diverted into one of the London airports and the crew were sent for arterial blood tests. However, the hospital only looked for CO levels as they (and the crew) had no knowledge of aerotoxic syndrome. So, I know first hand that this is a very real issue. Evidently, there was a contamination event in the right pack, but not the left that feeds the cockpit.

To my knowledge, I have no ill effects of the exposures I've had, but how would I know? Many of the issues I and others attribute to ageing and fatigue could be, at least in part, a reaction to these compounds. Neither do I have any desire to stop flying, at least for the foreseeable future.

Best that a proper study is conducted to find out that continue with a suspected issue, no?

Last edited by Aluminium shuffler; 2nd Mar 2015 at 11:42.
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Old 27th Feb 2015, 12:46
  #120 (permalink)  
 
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Kenv, your mind is obviously closed. As they say in Scotland, "There's nane sae blind as them that winny see"
I’m sure Kenv will be along with a reply but my thoughts on that quote would be: “what do you call someone who sees things that aren’t there?”

There is plenty of rhetoric but precious little evidence, none that appears to stand up to any kind of rigorous test. You might as well roll dice to determine what’s going on. Saying “It’s obvious! Can’t you see what’s happening!” then failing to provide scientific proof is not a way to endear yourself to the more academically-minded part of the community. Especially when abuse starts being put about because people with a brain want something more concrete than “It just does, OK!?”...
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