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Toxic cabin air is more poisonous than reckoned

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Toxic cabin air is more poisonous than reckoned

Old 21st Apr 2009, 10:00
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Links to TV reports (in German and English)

Have a look at the Aerotoxic website. They have collected reports from international media concerning this issue:

TV News and Documentaries Archive - Aerotoxic Association - Support for Aerotoxic Syndrome Sufferers
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Old 22nd Apr 2009, 22:39
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You may also wish to look at the large amount of research the DfT has already undertaken for at least 18 months, before reading some the more sensationalist non-scientific websites mentioned above.

Department for Transport - Cabin air quality frequently asked questions

Department for Transport - Minutes of the Aviation Health Working Group meeting held on 14 January 2008

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/aviation/h...plingstudy.pdf
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Old 24th Apr 2009, 14:47
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Interesting. I flew the 146 for 17years finishing five years ago. I didn't have any probs at the time, but a year ago my kidneys suddenly failed due to a highly unsual condition "Good Pastures Syndrome" where my own immune system attacked my kidneys, shutting them down then going on to my lungs. The lungs mended themselves, but the kidneys permanently lost. The renal consultant could not provide a reason, but did ask me if I had been in contact with oil. Any suggestions or ideas?
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Old 24th Apr 2009, 15:13
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Google found..

http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/20...0Appendix3.pdf
Page 38

8.4Good pastures syndrome

Good pastures syndrome is an autoimmune disease of lung and kidney.Viral and streptococcal infections and exposure to hydrocarbon fumes have been suggested as possible causes. The host factor might be immune response genes.
Source: OMIM Result
The link is also worth a quick look for the type of exposure mentioned can be quite brief.

See also..

http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committ...ort/report.pdf
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Old 25th Apr 2009, 01:15
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Interesting.

Might explain the wide variance of susceptibility to cabin air sickness.

A healthy individual with good genes and no previous infection might declare that the whole Toxic Cabin Air issue is hogwash. He might not believe the tale of crew members that are completely disabled by exposure to TCP and other additives.

Couple this with the low airflow exchange through the pressure vessel since smoking was banned, and since surplus bleed air was seen as money by airlines and manufactures.... and you have all the ingredients for sickness.

I never heard this happening to people on the old gen aircraft: the B-732, the B-722 and the B-742. The individual eyeball sockets ensured everybody got a faceful of bleed air on the ground (gasper) or in the air (packs). Even if compressor seals were leaking, the rate of full cabin air replacement was higher (no reliance on recir fans for cooling).

I hated certain aspects of the airbus and later gen a/c. I hated "Econ Flow". Even wiith that off and everything wide open (a310) as a fat guy, I still couldn't get cooled off. The airflow was pathetic and no good in the tropics. Skinny copilots shivered and complained since I had to compensate by running the temp way down. So on preflight, while he was doing the walkaround, I started shutting off all crossover and vents on his side to give me more psi.

It makes sense that this wasn't a problem on the old iron with their "packs-a-plenty". Correlation: My pool guy used to be an artist at getting rid of cloudy water without using expensive chemicals. "The solution to pollution is dilution" he used to say to me with a sinister grin. Of course, I was the one who had to pay the water bill.... bastard...

I wonder if that applied to cabin-air as well? More airflow = less TCP exposure?

Crunch - out
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 20:19
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Latest US cabin air casualties

Here are the latest 'twin' victims of contaminated cabin air - all in their minds?

Seattle Video | News Video | TV Video | KING 5 News | KING5.com

DB

Last edited by Dream Buster; 1st May 2009 at 05:59.
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 21:14
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What is unique to this issue is the recycling of air. Most are under the false perception that this is healthy. It is when your concern is stale air or avioding spreading illness.

In the case of toxins introduced into the cabin an aircraft thet recycles more air has the same if a larger impact. The air at altitude is cold so a large volume of air straight out of the engine is introduced into fresh air and then directly into the cabin to provide a comfortable environment.
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Old 1st May 2009, 07:37
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Cabin air: H1N1 Cross- infection

The honeymooners who became the first British victims of swine flu were passengers on a nine-hour Thomson 767 (flight 578) from Cancun to Birmingham on Tuesday, April 21.
It seems they picked up the disease though not from the air conditioning but from five male passengers who were already ill and who sitting immediately behind and alongside them. Apparently they considered asking for permission to move seats - but decided "not to make a fuss".

What are passengers' rights in these circumstances? Would they have been allowed to move seats? ...And, as all the cabin air is recirculated, were all the passengers - and crew - potentially at risk?
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Old 1st May 2009, 07:47
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Wrong thread?

Korrol,

With respect, swine flu H1N1 is a seperate, different issue?

Plus I don't know the answer, except that solutions are similarly inconvenient and impossible to apply to normal operations....

DB

Last edited by Dream Buster; 1st May 2009 at 07:57.
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Old 1st May 2009, 07:56
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The reason I raised H1N1 here is because muduckace had raised the issue of infection in the previous post - but I agree with you it's probably best discussed elsewhere - although I don't know whether there's a thread which deals with this issue. Anyway my apologies to you and to the administrators if I have wrongly-posted here
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Old 1st May 2009, 11:48
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Toxic Air

Just sit on the E jet and eat your lunch next to the toilet thats toxic air!, enough to make you gag on your own vomit!
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Old 1st May 2009, 11:54
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Exclamation

I get a running nose, congestion, sneezing, loss of sense of smell and 'taste' which I believe to be due to contaminated air.
Since I only fly on a handful of occasions per year and the symptoms appear in the spring I suspect that the contaminant is rape pollen.
Never had any problems with industry, ships engine rooms, gunfire residues, aeroplanes but have had trouble with atmospheric pollution as stated and in HK with northerly wind.
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Old 5th May 2009, 13:56
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Post The lawyers are writing engineering documents now...

A quote from a certain aircraft manufacturer's discussion document...

(Insert name of airframe builder here)... has been examining events in which human senses detect a condition inside the pressurized area of an airplane that may result in a conclusion that there is a potentially dangerous ignition source or atmospheric contamination present that needs immediate corrective action.
I think the lawyers mean that crew or passengers have smelled smoke or fumes.


Basil - I share your symptoms, especially on long haul to & fro the Far East, but I've always put it down to lack of humidity. Humidity levels in aircraft cabins at high altitude are well below 40% despite the use of re-circulated air and our noses aren't designed to operate at such low humidity levels.

"So, fit humidifiers" one may say, but back in the 70s when Boeing put humidifiers in the B747, the resultant condensation on the fuselage skins (at -50 degrees or so) caused heavy "rainfall" in the cabins and the humidifiers had to be de-activated.

Last edited by Blacksheep; 5th May 2009 at 14:07.
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Old 7th May 2009, 13:24
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When we used to buy Mobil Jet 2 in the nineties it came with a small white label on each 44 gallon drum that listed all of the ingredients. The last line always concerned me

ingredients partially unknown
To be fair, it's probably just that the oil is a naturally occurring liquid and it is not possible to know exactly what traces may be in it no matter how refined it is.

I'm well aware of cabin air quality issues and have smelt oil in the bleed air on a number of occasions. Personally I'm not physically affected by it but I know that some individuals are. Part of the problems is that it affects people in different ways. While one pilot may claim to smell it but have no ill effects (me), the other may have a constricted throat, head ache, and possibly nausea. This makes it difficult to quantify the effects, and when one individual is particularly susceptible, it can appear as though it is a problem with the person rather than their work environment.
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Old 8th May 2009, 13:42
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More than one way for aircrew to breathe organophospahtes

In Feb 2001 an accident happend from hydraulic fluid on the floor of the aircraft cockpit reacting with a foot and mouth disinfectant splashed onto the pilot. The mixture of the two produced organo phospahtes just as with bleed air and a faulty seal. The pilot was incapacitated in flight, which on a BN Islander, single pilot flying a BA scheduled service is significant. Radar tapes show the plane descend from 2000' to 200. The pilot was grounded for many years, assessed as disabled and still has significant health problems. The effects on the pilots health were no doubt magnified because management chose to check and test fly the aircraft after he landed rather than take the pilot to hospital immeadiatly.

That organo phosphates cause ill health doesnt need further studies. It doesnt need further studies that TCP in oil can get into cabin air by a variety of ways, especialy through faulty bleed air seals.

That airlines will destroy evidence, falsify evidence, commit purjury conduct court cases "unreasonably" and fail to report an accident to AAIB is controversial. It happens though - Air New Zealand and Loganair. As for the regulators AAIB refer to CAA who refer to HSE who refer to AAIB.

The following relates:
House of Commons - Transport - Written Evidence
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Old 8th May 2009, 17:06
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Conclusion of PhD paper on the BAe 146 - 2007

Quote:

"Aircraft crew members and passengers made ill and disabled by unsafe fume prone aircraft need to be acknowledged, treated and compensated. Crew should not be allowed to be used as expendable items and be blamed for their illnesses then cast aside when too ill only to be replaced by new crew to join the poisoning cycle.

The BAe 146, the most dangerous fume prone aircraft, should be grounded internationally.

This would put the aircraft manufacturers and airlines on notice by applying a language they understand that of economics.

The BAe 146 aircraft, to paraphrase Nader, is an aircraft that is unsafe at any height.

The evidence suggests that it is only a matter of time before a major accident occurs from fume exposure.

Of course there is an alternative scenario that a major accident has already occured as a result of fumes but blame has been placed somewhere else.

The most likely place to lay blame for airlines and regulators is the pilot in the event of his/her cognitive failure that leads to a crash and loss of life."


The full report can be read here.

DB
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Old 9th May 2009, 02:35
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Any studies or cases of aerotoxic involving turboprops or regional aircraft? Particularly, has there been any cases reported by crews of DHC-8's or CRJs?
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Old 9th May 2009, 06:53
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Turbo props too...

Hikoushi,

Turbo props too. DHC 8 report.

DB
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Old 9th May 2009, 07:06
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Great link, thank you!
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Old 10th May 2009, 18:00
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Channel 7 report on toxic air

The latest from Channel 7 Australia.

Fatal flights

The toxic air isn't fatal, it only half kills you.....

DB
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