Do you know what air you breathe while sitting on a plane?
Disturbing news on cabin air
I recently came across some disturbing information I did not know about. I think it is very important to write a post, so it will inform my readers about this. It could answer some questions you might have had in the past as it throws light on something you hear little about in the regular press.
I suppose you have been on a plane at least once in your life? Could it be that you did not feel all that well afterward? If that should be the case, I now have found the reason.
Passengers should never be exposed to health risks when flying. That is, at least, the principles of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA.) Reading this statement, you might get the impression that everything is ok, right? The EASA is taking care of you!
Well, sadly it is not like that as it now has been medically proven that flying can pose a health hazard. It has nothing to do with accidents as flying is statistically seen as the safest way of traveling.
The authorities, and the entire industry, have been quiet about this. Passengers, pilots, and flight attendants suffer from it. Contaminated cabin air can introduce hazardous health toxins to your body. It shocked me when I read this, as I did not know.
I have been on planes quite a few times in my life and normally, would not feel dazzling after the flight and my eyes would turn tomato red. I put that down to the air conditioning systems as this always happens, whenever the air conditioner is on, be it in supermarkets, restaurants, shopping malls, etc. Now I know it is probably more serious than I expected.
The chronological history of Aerotoxic Syndrome
1953: The first warning from scientists that cabin air was toxic (Committee of Aviation Technology, Aero Medical Association. Aviation toxicology: an introduction to the subject and a handbook of data. Toronto: CAT, AMA, Blakiston, 1953.). But it wasn’t until passenger jet flights were common that the issue became a public hazard.
1955: The Sud Aviation Caravelle was the first commercial aircraft to use the “bleed air” system. Air which is compressed in the engines and then piped, unfiltered, into the cabin. Reading this, I must confess it disturbed me because to me, it nearly sounded like a gas chamber.
1963: The Boeing 727 (B-727) was the first of many Boeing airplanes to have the new “bleed air” system introduced. As the system seemed efficient, the “bleed air” system was installed on other Boeing aircraft (B-737, B-747, B-757, B-767, and B-777) and aircraft manufacturers around the world followed suit.
1970s: The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) criticized ventilation problems in aircraft in connection with harmful fumes, in particular concerning the British Aerospace 146 (Bae 146) aircraft.
1992: Joanne Turner was a flight attendant for East-West Airlines. She traveled in the passenger compartment just like other passengers and was five months pregnant at that time. She flew from Sidney to Brisbane on a Bae 146.
During the flight, she got sick because of the oil fumes which entered the cabin. She suffered long-term respiratory problems and started legal actions against the airline. They awarded her a settlement of 84.000 pounds, but It took her many years to reach this victory. I can imagine she would have been far happier if it had not happened.
1999: The first scientific paper is published by Chris Winder and Jean Christophe. Adverse Health Effects Following Exposure to Jet Oil Mist During Commercial Flights. You can read the report if you wish.
2005: First BALPA conference on the dangers of Aerotoxic Syndrome for members held at Imperial College, UK (Proceedings of the BALPA Air Safety and Cabin Air Quality International Aero Industry Conference.) Recall that it was 1955 when the first warning from scientists was expressed. 50 years later it came to the first conference. It took 50 years! That is something which needs to sink in.
In those 50 years, millions of people world-wide boarded planes for different reasons, business, family reunions, celebrating birthdays, and going on holiday. During their flight, they have been breathing contaminated air. I cannot imagine the number of people who got sick without ever knowing what hit them.
I think I have to explain in short what this bleed air is all about
In the 1950s, when jet traveling started, the engineers had to figure out how to get air into the pressurizing cabins. Those new jets flew at a height of 30.000 ft where the air is very thin. The benefit of flying at this altitude is that the jet needs less fuel and the weather condition is most of the time better than flying lower.
The engineers came up with the idea that one should use air pumps. These mechanical pumps would pressurize the “outside” air to equalize pressure in the cabins. That is how in those past times the Boeing B-707 and McDonnell Douglas DC-8 had no oil contaminated air. It came directly from outside the jet.
The problems were that those pumps were not very reliable, which forced the airliners to drop to 10.000 ft when the pressurization failed.
In 1962 Boeing came up with a fundamental design flaw with the name of “bleed air”. Bleed air is highly compressed air being piped off halfway down the jet engine. They used this evil air in the newly designed Boeing 727. Already at the beginning, the engineers were conscious of the scientific report of 1953 where it was proven that toxic engine oil poses a health hazard to human life. The plan still went ahead, anyway.
It was such a simple system to install. Those were the times of freedom of smoking and people could still light up on board. With the excuse of not being able to detect this smell of engine oil, the industry still continued and gassed its millions of passengers all these years.
Did you ever suffer from Jet-Lag?
The term “jet-lag” became known in the 1960s when passengers felt exhausted after a long flight where you are crossing time zones. The strange thing was that passengers also felt awful after short domestic flights. To think that for so many years there has been a cover-up of massive poisoning is a scandal.
The poisoning of passengers and crew alike with organophosphates and other neurotoxic and cancer exogenous substances is a sad fact. The synthetic oil used by jets contains organophosphates which were used in pesticides and nerve gas and banned by the EPA for residential use in 2001 because of known toxicity.
My personal journey
Here you will hear the story firsthand. The lies, collusion and retaliation after encountering a “fume event” The airlines will say Jet Lag or air sick when actually it is leaking toxic cabin air. This is Aviations Biggest Lie.
The story of Capt. John Hoyte
Capt. John Hoyte, a victim of toxic fumes, founded Aerotoxic Association in 2007. I learned about these issues initially from his website, and I have to confess this is something I did not know about. He is a former Training Captain of British Airways Bae 146 and was forced to retire because of his severe ill health after flying jet airliners.
Within a few months of flying the airliner in 1989, it ruined his excellent health. At 35, he had become a “vegetable type zombie” but he continued to work on European flights until he was 49 when he could not fly anymore.
Helping victims of toxic cabin air
The Aerotoxic Association has supported thousands of passengers and aircrew in the past 10 years. The search for appropriate medical treatment and legal representation must have been intense. Personally, I can imagine that a prolonged detox must have been necessary. Needed to reestablish the harmony of body functions.
Do not miss this short video.
Over the past 65 years there are many studies which confirm the health dangers of breathing this contaminated air. Finally, in 1999, a US doctor along with scientists from France and Australia identified both the acute and chronic illness specifically as Aerotoxic Syndrome.
To think that the industry, as well as governments, have categorically denied any association between Aerotixic Syndrome and jet airliners, makes one believe there is a collision between the 2 parties. Denial does not take their responsibility away, but they try to squeeze out of it after seeing the tremendous costs of compensation to countless members of the public.
This gives a picture of David and Goliath but the more people know about this, the stronger this case stands. It seems the only safe plane is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner otherwise they can gas one on any jet airliner flight.
The more I think about this, the more upset and angry I become. I realize that our health has no importance. The sicker we get means more money for Big Pharma. We are being brainwashed into eating man-made foods which make us ill. We are drinking unclean, contaminated water and told it meets all regulatory standards, and we travel in planes which pose a health hazard.
I wonder when all this will end and finally, all these wrong things in our society will become public knowledge. Only we, the people with a united voice, will stop this.
Luckily, we are seeing more articles in the press which talk about these issues. We have a right to know what we eat, what water we drink, and also know what air they force us to breathe.
I have made a special page for you. It holds a collection of things you might find interesting. Before you leave visit Recommendations.
Photo Source: Pixabay
The more we are informed about what happens around us, the better. You might want to read the following post.
Hello, I really appreciate your time and effort on warning people about all this. I never knew there was poison in the air!
From your post, it’s obvious that this is a serious health concern. I can definitely think back now on all the times I’ve been on the planes and felt sick or had bloody eyes, always wondered if it was just the air quality in the plane or something else? Most of the time I just attribute it to being tired, but now I know better. Thanks for the article.
Good afternoon Son,
The more I investigate the more I become conscious that it is very difficult to remain healthy, dangers seem to be lurking around every corner.
The best we can do is to be informed and when needed make a global protest, I really think that on this issue it is about time.
Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
I have benefited greatly by reading your article. The discussion in your post about POISON IN THE AIR THE AEROTOXIC SYNDROME SCANDAL is very informative and I have learned many things. It’s really amazing the number of things that happen in our world we have no idea about. I think your article points to a very serious situation and I hope it will be read by many people So, thank you very much for sharing this information with us.
Good afternoon Ridwan,
Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF?
I find it awful that for more than 60 years people were forced to breathe this contaminated air. This situation is similar to Monsanto’s product Roundup which is being sprayed worldwide on food crops. As long as people do not speak up situations like this and many more will continue.
This is a great article.
As an aerospace engineer, however, the basic concept of using bleed air as not actually a bad one. I think it comes down to the airplane manufacturers building in a two-stage system.
I know that the bleed air source is in the compressor, upstream of the combustor and all contaminants.
However, the problem is when the engines are running while still on the tarmac, catching contaminated ground-level air, that has jet fuel fumes and burned exhaust (with oil contaminants) from other engines on the ground taxing and just idling.
That bad air is then recycled in flight, and is diluted with (fresh) bleed air, until the contaminants are gone.
While I have no numbers on how long that takes, the damage is done.
I do hope that, with this article and the evidence from the papers, that the manufacturers will develop a ground procedure to NOT use the bleed air until the altitude is sufficient to guarantee a 100% clean environment.
Good afternoon Dave,
Thank you for your long reply. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
My understanding of bleed air is that it is piped off half way down the jet engine. Obviously standing on the ground with all the other planes present with engines on and close by the takeoff and landing procedures the air must be one of the most polluted there is. So even if you would be able to open the little windows the air coming in would be awful.
The fact that Boeing opted for installing this cheap solution and not taking into consideration the already existing report on the health hazard of bleed air makes you think. Also that there is one airplane model, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which operates without bleed air makes this issue even worse. It all comes down that money is more important than our health.
How about a decent filter system? I suppose that comes too expensive. We will continue with our health problems while the companies rake in the money and the governments keep silent. I find this disgusting. Probably I am spoiled as I breathe the clean air on my organic farm.
Hi Taetske! This information also got me by surprise. And it’s quite an unpleasant surprise. I have to get on plains more often than I would like. But now knowing this will make me more reluctant.
Thank you very much for spreading out the news and making us aware. Knowing the problem won’t solve it, but it’s better than totally ignoring it as I was just before reading your post.
Good afternoon Henry,
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Still, I prefer to know so, if possible, act accordingly. As with food, you can choose what you buy and eat. In this case, we do not seem to have a choice, the air will be bad when boarding a plane. That is why the information has to get out there so the passengers can protest.
Thank you for your comment. Nice to see you again.
I have read your article on the Aerotoxic syndrome scandal. Your article gave me a clear idea about it. You have explained about Aerotoxic syndrome and It’s effect and also explained how airplane company’s kept this secret from the common people. After reading your article I now know the bad effects of air toxification in a plane.
From my point of view, it is very harmful to the passenger. Specially it’s very harmful to children and pregnant woman. This thing can also harm old people who are already weak. Air toxification on the plane can make the pilots sick and an accident can occur because of that. So, I think the authorities should act as soon as possible to remove this problem from aircraft and ensure the safety of every passenger.
Thank you very much for writing this article. I think it will create awareness and it will help a lot of people.
Good afternoon Borhan,
Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
I think this situation is indeed very serious and we, the people, should speak up. It cannot be that our health is in jeopardy just to save some money. As one hardly hears about this in the press how many people do not know the reason why they fell sick? I bet there are more than we can imagine.
As it is possible to manufacture a plane which holds clean air I think it is high time that a solution to this problem is found.
Hi Taetske, if this is true, and I assume you know what you are talking about, this is insane. For over 50 years, and nobody has taken action to improve this system? I wonder why? I have not experience because I have never flown. But when you are a pilot or a flight attendant, you should be worried sick.
Good afternoon Loes,
Thank you for your visit and comment. Nice to see you again.
So many things are being kept hidden from us. This seems to be one of them. As so often happens our health is not worth the extra investment. Until people know about this and speak up this situation might still continue for a while.
The industry as a total does not seem to be at our service, rather the other way around.
I find it sad to once more discover that people are not being valued for what they are. The money which is made of them is more important.
This is something absolutely new to me. In truth, I can barely believe it as I have been convinced that we live in modern times. MODERN TIMES. Why on Earth is there such a flighty approach to one of the most popular ways of transportation? What gives?
I guess my conviction has actually just been an illusion. Which I find to be troubling.
I myself just recently traveled with my 1.5-year-old daughter via plane. And knowing that this is something that not only is not said or warned about but actively concealed and covered up – I find it hugely disgusting. There are people who travel with even smaller children that may be potentially even more affected than my child was. This is truly an outrage.
Can’t wait till electric planes will come about.
Thank you for sharing the knowledge, I appreciate it!
Good afternoon Rasa,
I can imagine you are more than upset, especially as you recently traveled with your little child.
There are many things in our world that are far from ok and that is why they are hidden from the people. When the news gets out there and more people hear about it then there could be the chance to change this situation.
A Global Protest and a boycott on flying would do the trick but it has to be all the people united for a protest to have an effect.
We have to realize that our health has no priority, nowhere! Not for the food industry, neither for big Pharma, etc, etc. The situation is sad and the only thing we can do is to be informed about things and speak up when needed.
Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
Wow, I am absolutely astonished. One would presume that the air gets properly filtered or purified through some sophisticated means. But who’d have known? In the 21st century that such archaic approach is being taken. This really is something people do not talk about. And the industry itself by no means intend to either. I mean, it’s probably cheaper for them this way.
All in all, I’m with you 100%. People, the general public, in general, are being taken advantage of on so many levels. All those big corporations ever really care about are profits. Which is truly concerning and saddening, to say the least. The saddest thing about it is that they themselves will never admit that a change must take place. Because it is easier and far more lucrative this way for them.
This might not be that relevant for this article but to the brainwashed list you mentioned I would add social media praying on our brains wiring to make us addicted to it and in so spend way more time on it (thus bigger profits for them). And adding to what you already mentioned about foods – making them so and creating the food in a way that they make our brains believe that the food we are eating (processed food) is tasty. Furthermore, design it in a way that makes us crave it so that we never become full or do so only for very short periods of time. So, we would eat more… So, we would spend more.
While the ideas and science behind it are somewhat revolutionary. But the way that is used to **** ** our health and life quality, and the corporate leaders who do not give a single **** about the public’s health, just the profits. It’s all simply mind-boggling.
On that sad note though, thank you for sharing the knowledge, have a Great One!
Good afternoon Matiss,
Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
I can imagine you were astonished, I was too when I found out. I consider this one of those big scandals we have been presented with. Over time we have seen a lot of bad things and the more I investigate the nastier it gets.
Monsanto made this awful product Roundup which is used worldwide on GMO crops. We are eating this, how can that be? The information on its danger has been kept hidden for many years but now it is becoming more known and people speak up.
Another nasty example is the fact that we have been fed Fluoride since the early 1950s. This causes the Pituitary Gland to turn into stone so we get dumber, that would mean it is easier to manipulate the masses.
I also wrote a post on Hertz 440 which caused the human race to become disconnected from nature. It seems the thought behind it is also manipulation on a broad scale.
Sometimes I need to close my computer and not watch tv to go and sit on my patio enjoying nature. I know by doing that those problems will not go away but I need to disconnect now and then to be able to cope with the world.
Hi Taetske. Thank you for taking a stand and writing about this! I’ve been flying at least once a year since I was 6 years old! I had never even heard of Aerotoxic Syndrome until now. Companies have been putting profits over people for too long. We are collectively waking up to the manipulations, lies and collusions which have been going on at the expense of the many for the benefit of the few.
Keep up your writing. The more educated we become the more difficult it is to manipulate/hurt us.
Good Morning Erik,
Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
There are many things that are wrong in our world. Happenings are covered up so not to harm the profits.Only when we all protest, it could provoke a change. This past year and also 2021 shows us that sadly we are being manipulated on a global level.
Hello Taetske, What an incredibly frightening picture you paint of air travel and the air we breathe while travelling that way. I have travelled extensively by air in Europe, Asia, Australia and the USA. Fortunately, for me, it seems that I have not been affected by the Aerotoxic Syndrome. I am certainly thankful for that considering the scary content of your post. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Good Morning Jenni,
Yes, I know it is scary stuff. What is so upsetting is that one hears little about it. There are many things in our history that show profit is first and the health of the people comes last. Take as an example the company Monsanto and their product Roundup. They use it worldwide to spray our food with pesticides. These past years many court cases started and Monsanto lost. In the meantime, Roundup is still being used.
Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget..
That’s some shocking news! I have heard of jet lag, although never experienced it because I have never been in a commercial airplane. I have a trip planned this spring and was planning to get on one for the first time in my life. I guess I should see if I can identify the make of the plane I will be on and do some research on how they pressurize the cabin.
If I find out it will be a plane that used this bleed air technology, are there ways to help prevent breathing this toxic gas? I would like to know also, if they are doing this knowingly, with today’s technologies, why have they not come up with an alternative or some way to filter the toxins.
I will be looking into this more! Thanks for sharing!
Good afternoon Chad,
I know, this is shocking. I wrote this post in April 2019. This story belongs in the group of nasty happenings where companies/governments keep away important information from the people. It is not the first and surely not the last time that we are being fooled into believing something is ok when actually it is far from ok.
Can you imagine what it would cost to recondition all the airplanes with a new system? That will not happen soon, as at the moment those companies are working in the minus, or even have stopped operating thanks to the COVID-19 restrictions. If you can fly somewhere, I doubt very much you will have a choice of airplane type.
Having my websites since the beginning 2017, I have become more aware of what is happening in our world. Often it is hair-raising and too sad for words. Like the post I wrote on 60 chemicals found in baby diapers, I mean how crazy can it get?
Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.