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 had no idea about. I think it is very important to write a post so my readers will be informed about this. It could answer some questions you might have had in the past as it throws light on something you do not hear much 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 possible 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, has been quiet about this. Passengers, pilots, and flight attendants suffer from it. Contaminated cabin air can introduce hazardous health toxins to your body. I was shocked when I read this as I had no idea.
I have been on planes quite a few times in my life and normally, would not feel very bright 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 I was disturbed 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.
1970’s: 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 due to the oil fumes which entered the cabin. She suffered long-term respiratory problems and started legal actions against the airline. She was awarded 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 early 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 half way down the jet engine. This bad air was used 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 and was implemented.
It was such a simple system to install. Those were the times of freedom of smoking and people were still allowed to light up on board. With the excuse of not being able to detect this smell of engine oil, the industry went ahead 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.
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 had no idea about. He is a former Training Captain of British Airways BAe 146 and was forced to retire due to his severe ill health after flying jet airliners.
Within a few months of beginning to fly the airliner in 1989, his excellent health was ruined. At the age of 35, he had become a “vegetable type zombie” but he continued to work on European flights until he was 49 when he was unable to 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 to somehow reestablish the harmony of body functions.
Over the past 65 years there exist numerous 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 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 one can be gassed 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 sick, 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 be able to stop this.
Luckily, we are starting to see 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 we are forced to breathe.
Photo Source: Pixabay
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