The Truth about Aerotoxic Syndrome Aviation Industry’s “Dirty Little Secret”
February 18, 2016
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German aviation journalist Tim van Beveren has produced an investigative documentary about cabin air contamination and the “Aerotoxic Syndrome”. Aviation industry insiders call it the industry’s “dirty little secret.” Van Beveren investigated the causes that led to the death of former British Airways pilot Robert Westgate who died in December 2012 in a hotel near Amsterdam at the age of just 43 years.
Most passengers are not aware that the air they breathe aboard their flight comes straight and unfiltered out of the jet engines and this air contains low levels of toxic compounds, similar to nerve agents such as Sarin.
Until very recently the aviation industry, regulators and politicians despite overwhelming scientific studies and evidence have been in a complete denial that such fumes may cause any harm to crews and passengers. But internal documents and industry studies, obtained by insiders and whistleblowers, reveal the opposite and that the problem of contaminated cabin air has become a growing concern for almost all airlines and all makes and models of aircraft.
The Aerotoxic Association, which is campaigning to have the syndrome recognized, reports symptoms can include fatigue, blurred vision, loss of consciousness, dizziness, headaches, vomiting or nausea.
Many former pilots, co-pilots and cabin crew believe they have been subjected to long-term illnesses due to the amount of time they have spent exposed to cabin air and ‘toxic fumes’.
A 2013 report published by Professor Michael Bagshaw, a specialist in aviation medicine at Kings College London, also noted: ‘The amounts of organophosphates to which aircraft crew members could be exposed, even over multiple, long-term exposures, are insufficient to produce neurotoxicity.’