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Toxic Cabin Air/Aerotoxic Syndrome

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Toxic Cabin Air/Aerotoxic Syndrome

Old 28th Jan 2013, 19:40
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Medical Protocol

Here is a Medical Protocol which may help:


or Aerotoxic Association - Support for sufferers of Aerotoxic Syndrome for further.

The ill health effects of breathing oil fumes is unsurprisingly very similar to breathing tobacco smoke - but arguably much, much worse.......as very few people seem to understand it or even know about it.
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 02:44
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Friend here works at our regional airport, baggage handling, refuelling, marshalling, monitoring the start-up etc. lots of exposure to Jet A 1 fumes from the turbine aircraft that fly in.

Couple of years ago he was diagnosed with something akin to leukeamia, and has since had radiation treatment - with all that entails - and then a complete blood replacement procedure, and thankfully seems to be recovering. The suggestion was that this was a direct result of breathing jet exhaust - that macho smell that we love so much !

There is no doubt that the orgaphosphates in some sheep dips cause serious health problems.
A sheep farmer friend suffered identical symptoms around the same time.

Not saying anything, just reporting the facts.
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 08:06
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I flew the 146 and was ill health retired. It is my view that exposure to oil fumes is harmful and a flight safety issue:

The following links may be of interest:

Air Safety, Health and Security Department

Broken Wings - Documentary by Fact Not Fiction Films

Global Cabin Air Quality Executive | Home Page

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Old 29th Jan 2013, 08:34
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Which aircraft types did Karen and Richard fly?
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 09:01
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I don't know about Karen but Richard was Airbus.

Unless we are dealing with something like the supposed APU problem on the RJ/146, the issue is actually engine related rather than airframe I think.
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 09:52
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In a similar vein, does anyone else remember how we used to wipe the chinagraph boards clean in the RAF using gallons of CTC (carbon tetra chloride)?

Suddenly, we were told that CTC was incredibly dangerous and it became a banned substance. I wonder how many people were damaged by CTC?
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 10:15
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I'm sure I read somewhere that Richard Westgate flew for Manx before he went to BA. Manx had some BAe146s.
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 13:02
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as an addition to my previous posting, i forgot to add:

shut down and WAIT until RPM is below 20% before sellecting "off"
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 15:37
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JW - interesting. I recall that there was a court case in Aus regarding the 146 and fumes and it does seem to be a recurring theme here. Is there a good case for a more detailed sampling of medical 'events' amongst those who have flown it?
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 16:15
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Richard did indeed fly for Manx/British Regional Airlines, on the BAe ATP and the Embraer145.

Karen flew the B737/75/76.
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 19:43
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I flew with Richard on th ATP, and also the 145.. Not sure if he went 146?
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 19:59
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I believe the 757 also has some anecdotal fume events. Perhaps this is how Karen was exposed?
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 20:33
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At Woodford, the SOP for APU shutdown was the Overspeed method. Yes there were two APU types, the latter being a Sundstrand, I think the original was a Garrett.
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Old 30th Jan 2013, 03:38
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The DC-8 always had turbo-compressors for cabin air and had no direct engine bleed capability into the cabin. I remember being surprised when the B707 which had turbo-compressors added capability for direct engine bleed air to the air conditioning. I was bemused to read here that the C-130 uses engine bleed air for cabin use. The Electra with similar Allison 501D engines had two mechanically driven cabin compressors. When you pulled the 5th and 10th stage surge bleed valves on the engines to check the engine compressor blades you found the blades were often coated with oily residue. Having an oil operated prop in front of the engine air inlet will do that although some may have come from engine seals. We had to do a lot of compressor cleaning to maintain engine power and I think it was best not to breath that air too.
The CL-44 also had a mechanically driven cabin compressors, big old Roots blowers. The L-1011 used engine bleed air for the cabin but the APU drove a separate load compressor for pneumatics supply so any APU engine seal leakage would not have gotten into the cabin air.
Mention was made of deicing fluid. Had several instances where the APU was being used for keeping the pax comfy while deicing and fluid ran into the APU air intakes (or pneumatic air intake on L-1011) and caused bad fume problems in the cabin. We found that using the APU only for electrics still could get anti-ice fluid residue left in in there and it was best to clean it out by starting the engines off the APU before using it for air conditioning.
Synthetic jet engine oil is nasty stuff and any mechanic doing oil screens or gearbox work can tell you of the skin condition of his hands after a good soak in it.
I think the B787 use of separate compressors, electric in this case or of turbo-compressors as in the old days is the way to go.
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Old 30th Jan 2013, 07:24
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I flew with Karen on 737s , delightful lady , very sad to read all this .
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Old 2nd Feb 2013, 18:41
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For those of you not in BALPA, you will be pleased to know that the whole contaminated air issue has been finally resolved by our BALPA experts.

Its actually Hyperventilation... I am not joking, but this is the new BALPA view announced today.

I would find this funny but for the simple fact I knew Karen from her time on the 737. Her memorial service was last week, she had been diagnosed with Aerotoxic Syndrome by her medical doctor and yet a week later, BALPA have the total disrespect to her family and to all of us, to say its all Hyperventilation.

I am on the bus and it frequently has the distinct oil smell. Do we put on oxygen, usually not, we all accept its the norm, but I will from now as clearly all BALPA will do is send me a paper bag!

Its not rocket science to work out that inhaling heated engine oils will give off toxic chemicals and carcinogens.

You can read it at: http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...,d.d2k&cad=rja
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Old 2nd Feb 2013, 18:57
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Exclamation Genetic makeup

Guy is probably correct, but don't think that means there isn't a problem...

3% of the population are pre-disposed to be symptomatic when exposed to long-chain organophospates. Of those, a percentage will be very ill, some will die, and others will have symptoms but be able to function more or less normally.

The problem is related to sheep-dip sundrome and I believe Gulf War syndrome. In the US the Pentagon has accepted GWS exists, and say that only 3% of those exposed to NAPS are symptomatic, which is in line with expectations based on genetic pre-disposition. Meanwhile, the MOD say it can't exist because 97% of those exposed are asymptomatic.

Then the British Air Lines' Puppet Association's General Secretary comes out and says it's nothing to do with contamination and we're all hyperventilating - an idea floated by Dr Mike Bagshaw - who just hapens to work for Airbus and be the retired head of British Airways Health Service.

However, in 2005 BALPA's GS said - and it's in video and can be reached via AOPIS.org - "There is a workplace problem resulting in chronic and acute illness amongst flight crew ... the workplace [is] the cabin environment. This, we conclude, is reulting in significant flight safety issues in addition to unacceptable flight crew personnel health implications"

Go figure!
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Old 2nd Feb 2013, 20:53
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146 Odours.

After 9 years on the Bae146 I am still allegedly fit now, but probably lucky so to be.

Not only did the 146 APU smell, the early production models would pump blue fumes into the rear of the cabin after startup and following pack initiation on1st start of the day. As the SLF would not be impressed we would start it early and clear the worst of visible fumes and odour before we would invite them aboard.

Also, certain airframes would provide an altimeter check consisting of a "sweaty socks" odour, for less than a minute, in the engine idle descent, at 8000 ft. Maybe it lasted longer but once a smell is in the nose it requires the nasal passages to be purged with fresh air before further detection.

Needless to say tech log entries produced neither positive nor useful rectification reports and never was a proper air sampling exercise carried out despite management being alerted via ASRs or 'ear-tugging'.

When I do pop my clogs I'll be happy for some bored pathologist to take various biopsies for research purposes and will even donate a bit of non-essential whilst still alive, if there is any program out there wishing to examine those who've definitely and repeatedly been exposed to these fumes for nearly a decade.

For the sake of our successors the CAA medical wallahs should display their inependence from industry pressures and using their vast medical database, with the permission of volunteers, a proper scientific & objective study could be performed.

If I have to submit to a breathalyser test before I board to operate, I expect to have a leeching done IMMEDIATELY and AUTOMATICALLY after landing following ANY fumes event!

But I can hear the beancounters arguing over who would pay for such a procedure, so in the meantime we're back to awaiting the "Tombstone Imperative"?

Ah, that's why I've got this posting name.....................
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Old 2nd Feb 2013, 21:14
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BARKINGMAD not sure if you have watched the documentary film 'Broken Wings', an ex FlyBe 146 pilot let me borrow it.

Broken Wings - Documentary by Fact Not Fiction Films

I know many people take a pop at David Learmount sometimes, but he gives an absolutely awesome interview in the documentary and sums up the whole problem very well. Worth a watch and it showed me how little line pilots like me actually know about the facts.
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Old 3rd Feb 2013, 08:04
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Also, certain airframes would provide an altimeter check consisting of a "sweaty socks" odour....
I flew as a passenger many times on the 146s operated by buzz - this 'sweaty socks' smell could be detected on every trip and had a distinctive odour.

I also took NAPs in GW1, fortunately with no permanent effect....
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