WELCOME TO TOXIC CABIN AIR
We are a website devoted to informing the public, physicians, and flight crew of the hazards of breathing in the air in the cabins of commercial airlines. We are devoted to providing you with facts about TCP, bleed air, and toxic poisoning that can occur from burnt or pyrolyzed hydraulic oil.
INFORMATION ON THE AIR WE BREATHE WHILE IN THE AIR -- IS IT TOXIC ?
The Skies May Not Be as Friendly as You Think !
Health problems created by unsafe air conditions in airplanes and especially problems caused by bleed air have been recognized by European governments and organizations, yet they are largely ignored by the airlines and oil companies in the United States. Or, even worse, that serious health problems can be caused by breathing in toxic air from airline cabins has been denied despite strong evidence of it's effects.
Bleed air is air which comes into an airline cabin through the air conditioning intake. Air passes through the jet engine and generally goes three places. One place is past the engine, hydraulic oil, and then into the cabin to be cooled as cabin air for the crew and passengers. Oil or fluid in the APU can also become hydrolized and cause the same injury.
When there is a hydraulic leak, the oil/fluid is heated dramatically by the engine. The outside air goes past the hydrolized oil, which is burned at over 500 degrees, creating a toxic substance called TOCP, with similar charactistics to what was known as agent orange by military personnel.
This heating produces toxic characteristics. This toxic air is introduced into the cabin to be breathed in by passengers and crew alike, or is expelled directly from the engine or APU. Depending on the severity of the leak and a person's sensitivity or exposure, toxic poisoning can, and does occur in various degrees.
It used to be that you could detect the smell similar to dirty sox and be aware there was a problem. Oil manufacturers are now manufacturing the oils which do not emit such an odor. Symptoms to look for include Immediate symptoms which are flu like symptoms, difficulty breathing, coughing, light headedness or even giddiness, and may be accompanied by headaches, and other symptoms.
Other actual physical effects which may not be immediately recognizable, and which may take days or longer to manifest, can be: permanent or temporary brain injury or damage, neurological damage, vision problems, short term memory loss, uncontrollable intermittent shaking of a hand or body part, numbness in extremities, aching of muscles, and what has been described as Lupus-like or Menier's like symptoms. It is now believed that many conditions previously diagnosed as Menier's or Lupus may actually have been the effects of exposure to toxic cabin air. Thanks to others who are working diligently to educate the flying public and employees, the condition is now officially recognized and called "Aerotoxic Syndrome".
The pyrolized, or burnt, oil/fluid (TCP or TOCP) is breathed in and circulated throughout the body. It is stored in the body and it can get into the brain, muscles, and nerves. Small oil leaks can secrete these fumes over time. Long term exposure in flight crew has been shown to cause these symptoms and damage. Because the problem has been ignored or denied, many flight crew and, we are discovering, passengers, have been told they have other diseases or problems which mimic lupus, multiple sclerosis, or menier's disease, among other disorders.
These leaks are not uncommon. They are in many, many aircraft. Some models have more problems than others. (Refer to the links on this website ) Recently, it was stated that it would cost $10,000.00 per aircraft to fix the problem, to retrofit filters on planes. It is not clear is this is a functional remedy, but we are asking the question: why are the airlines not pursuing that? I think we all know the answer, money. What is more important, a person's health or the cost? Plus, with the 'powers that be' saying that there is no problem, how many more people must get sick, or neurologically damaged before someone acts. We applaud Boeing for development of the 787, the first airplane to use a system for the cabin air that bypasses the engines. The plane is touted has having clean air, and that passengers will not have that tired effect from flying. While little is said about the bypassing of the possible toxic exposure, there are reports from the English Parliament from years ago basicly putting airlines on notice that if they do not clean up the toxic issues that their planes may be prevented from using British airports.
Cabin crew, including pilots, have related their individual experiences and health problems from exposure, as well as instances where a pilot almost lost consciousness while piloting a commercial aircraft, all thought to be related to toxic cabin air. These articles and many more are on this website for you to educate yourself and arm yourself with what you need to know for your safety and health. Please take the time to read the websites which are linked on our pages. These are only a few of the articles and studies available on the web. Because it has been denied and ignored, many doctors are not aware of the possibility of toxic air exposure on planes and, therefore, may not realize what is causing a person's symptoms. Educate yourself and educate them. www.aerotoxic.org has a link to a great DVD which explains the problem in detail with personal comments by some people exposed. This is a good starting place for anyone, including professionals, to educate themselves.
We urge you to educate yourself and others to become aware. If you feel you have been exposed to toxic cabin air or know someone who has, please post your information on our "experiences" page so that we can learn, share, gather information, and spread the information to others, as well as the medical community. You may contact us for experts and/or doctors who may be familiar with the TCP exposure.
Please read the article where Boeing responds to the British Parliament that it's newer planes will eliminate the problem of bleed air fumes. The manufacturers, the airlines, and the oil companies have been aware of these problems for years and have done nothing about it and have done nothing to warn the passenger, or the crews.
Please spread the word. And next time you fly, do not assume the 'dirty sock' smell is the passenger next to you. Or if you have breathing problems or feel the flu coming on that it is a coincidence. If may be, but often in the news articles we read, the crew feels the problems and when they land they are taken to a hospital, but the articles never mention that the passengers are informed of the potential exposure. In the past, and even presently, many crew members assume that planes are safe or they would not be allowed to fly, many crew are not informed or choose not to be informed. Passengers who may have been exposed may believe, as many crew members did before the problem was discovered, that they simply have the flu and that the problems they later develop are unrelated. It is going to take a lot of people--- passengers, crew, and the medical community--- and, we are afraid, a lot of time to bring this to the forefront.
Why does no one know or seem to care? Please read the attached links, and look for more! The leading medical doctor in this area is Dr. Peter Julu in the UK. A leading researcher is Dr. Christopher Van Netten of the University of British Columbia. Many more medical professionals have since discovered the issues and help is slowly coming. Search their names and read more on what they have found.
Be aware, be careful, and be safe, for yourself and your future !