Do you like flying on holiday? Or do you have to fly frequently for professional reasons?
Have you ever heard of the term “aerotoxic syndrome” and the dangers associated with the normal breathing air in passenger aircraft?
Did you know that this air is anything but clean, as the airlines want to make you white?
Did you know that this air contains highly toxic gases, consisting of more than 300 critical substances that have already killed people and caused countless crew members and passengers to fall seriously ill?
Did you know that as a passenger you are completely exposed to the toxins of oil vapours on board the aircraft and that there are no protective masks for you and the cabin crew?
Despite the innumerable incidents on the part of the airlines, the risk has so far been successfully played down and minimised, and the major political parties have been astonishingly inactive.
Recent scientific research, many incidents worldwide and the autopsies of a deceased pilot have now clearly demonstrated this connection.
All of this is unimaginable, but it is a reality.
“AEROTOXIC SYNDROME” – WHAT’ S THIS?
It is the now common medical term for the summary of various recurrent symptoms that can be observed in connection with the intoxications in those affected. This is not a disease name.
HOW DOES THE AIR BE CONTAMINATED (TOXIFIED)?
The air we breathe in the cabin is known as “bleed air” and it is drawn from the engines. The process has long been known to be very susceptible, but it is much cheaper. This causes the air to be mixed with kerosene vapours, evaporated engine oil, de-icing fluid and hydraulic fluid from the engine. This mixture contains various chemical components. More than two hundred toxic substances have been found, including organophosphates, which are also used in the war gas sarin. These toxins have also been proven beyond doubt in blood and urine of poisoned people. In addition, aircraft are regularly treated with pesticides and insecticides, which can also be proven to be harmful to health. Even airlines, manufacturers and engine engineers admit that such contamination occurs because the design of the engine’s compression seals does not allow them to hold tight due to the high loads and extended maintenance intervals. It’s as if the breathing air of your car is tapped directly from the exhaust system. No sensible person would ever drive a car like that.
I THOUGHT THE AIR IN THE AIRCRAFT IS FILTERED?
The circulating air is passed through a HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Filter) to filter out dust, bacteria and viruses. The bleed air is not filtered. In addition, the HEPA filter is not effective against aerosols of hazardous oil vapours. The toxins were detected in the interior even during normal operation.
HOW DOES THAT SMELL?
Some of the substances are odourless. The smell of the mixture of chemicals is described as “stinking socks”, vomit,”wet dog” or “mouldy”. However, the absence of an odour does not mean that there are no toxins. The presence of these substances often reveals a particularly serious contamination.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Headache, dizziness, sore throat, nasal and eye irritation, breathlessness, coughing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, memory loss, fatigue, hot flashes, nerve pain, flu-like symptoms at normal or low temperature, chemical bronchitis / pneumonia and more.
tingling and numbness in hands and feet, nerve damage, muscle pain, muscle weakness, joint pain, chronic fatigue, concentration problems, dizziness, tremors, word finding disorders.
These are just some of the symptoms. You can have a few of them, or all of them alternately, depending on how long and how often they are exposed to the toxins.
DO THE SYMPTOMS START IMMEDIATELY?
Some of them appear immediately, others can only occur after several weeks after the flight. However, these are then usually no longer associated with the actual trigger, i. e. the poisoning, and can therefore only be treated medically by the doctor with difficulty.
WHEN THE AIR IS CONTAMINATED, WHY DOES NOT EVERYONE GET SICK?
The physiological ability of every human being to detoxify is different. This is medically known as “individual biological susceptibility”. Previous poisonings, duration, amount and time of contamination, dietary habits, taking medication, general fitness and health, weight and genetic structure can all play a decisive role in determining how a person reacts to such substances.
I FLY BUT ONLY TWO TIMES IN THE YEAR. ISN’T THIS HARMLESS?
In theory, one flight is sufficient to obtain lifelong injury. Frequent flyers and flying personnel are naturally disproportionately affected. Infants, toddlers and the chronically ill are also at risk.
I NEED TO FLY BECAUSE OF MY JOB, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Talk to your boss. Inform him/her about the possible risk. If necessary, change to the train or other means of transport. No normal boss wants his valuable employees to fall seriously ill and therefore fail. Wear a protective mask. This must be effective against oil vapours (aerosols). Everyone has the fundamental right to physical integrity.
WHY DON’T THE AIRLINES JUST CHANGE THAT?
This has so far been unsuccessfully attempted. Unfortunately, no effective filters can be installed. It is a structural problem affecting all airlines worldwide. Since the aircrafts cannot be modified, they have to fly on because they are the business basis of the airlines in order to earn money. They cannot simply be parked for economic reasons just because they pose a health hazard. This would disrupt an entire industry. Aviation is a key industry in the German economy. So the danger is played down or denied. The risk is accepted because it cannot be changed technically. It applies to all aircraft with bleed air from the engines (approximately 99% of all passenger / cargo aircraft). Even the new Airbus A380 did not take this problem into account in its design. The only exception is the new Boeing 787, the Dreamliner, which has an external tapped air system.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Flying less. This is the only way to reduce the risk. Report smells directly to the cabin crew. Involve other guests and ask them if they have noticed the smell as well. Are there acute, possibly common symptoms? If you have any complaints, call a doctor.
Create a log:
- HOW LONG the smell occurred
- When did it occur (Start / in flight / landing)
- Were did it occur (row of seats)
- HOW did it smell exactly
- WHICH symptoms did WHEN occur
Exchange addresses and telephone numbers with the guests so that you can support each other later on. Have the name of the crew and the captain given to you. Be alert when passengers are constantly coughing, complaining of headache and dizziness. It could be a heads-up. It does not always have to be a visible “fume event” with fog in the cabin, the odours alone can already mean a high concentration of pollutants. Pregnant women and babies / toddlers are particularly at risk. Subsequent consequential damages and developmental disturbances are not excluded. A spontaneous nausea with vomiting is often a sign of acute poisoning. Look for unusual symptoms of illness after the flight. It is essential that you report these symptoms to your doctor and secure blood and urine samples as quickly as possible, within 48 hours and if necessary freeze them so that they can be examined for harmful substances in a specialist laboratory later on.