Frequently Asked Questions
The questions below will give you further insight into Aerotoxic Syndrome and the precautions you can take. If you wish to gain further support and advice please join as a Member for £20 per year and go here.
The air on the aircraft is provided unfiltered from the compression section of the engines in a process known as ‘bleed air’. This bleed air gets contaminated with heated engine oil fumes that contain hazardous chemicals, which crews and passengers breathe in and may also absorb it through the skin (dermal exposure).
Exposures are to a complex mixture of chemicals, which can have a synergistic effect. No inhalation toxicity testing has ever been published. Also, most chemicals do not have a recognised safe exposure level. New Study
Exposure to contaminated air will most likely impact individuals in different ways in both the short and long term, based on a number of variable factors: levels and types of chemicals present during an event; previous exposure history to contaminated air, genetic make-up, age, medical condition and potentially any medication you may be taking. View laboratory testing
Regulations state that crews are not allowed to fly if they are fatigued or have consumed alcohol or taken certain medications in a pre-determined time period before they fly. This is to ensure crews are alert and able to deal with any complex emergencies they may face. Inhaling contaminated air will and has impacted crews’ cognitive ability to fly – this is a flight safety issue.
Yes, we have many case studies from passengers affected by just one fume event whilst in flight.
Millions of people have been exposed since bleed air was first used in 1963.
Symptoms of Aerotoxic Syndrome can mimic i.e. Parkinson’s or MS, chemical sensitivity, chronic bad flu, severe allergies, CFS, cardiac and lung problems. View symptoms here.
There are no standards for the mixture of chemicals you are exposed to. Furthermore exposure standards do not apply at altitude, they only apply to single chemicals. They do not apply to complex chemical mixtures and do not apply to the travelling public – especially not to the unborn, children and the elderly.
Aircraft are not equipped with detection systems to warn when the air is contaminated. Many chemicals are odourless and under reporting is widespread throughout the industry. Consequently, it cannot be stated that these events are rare. It can only be stated that the exact frequency of events remains unknown. See our Fume Events page.
Oils used in engines leak into the air supply by design. Their chemical signature has been repeatedly found in aircraft cabins and cockpits. Extensive evidence confirms that exposures are occurring and health and flight safety is being compromised. There is a hair test available which can detect the signature compounds of jet oils: Hair Test
Because Aerotoxic Syndrome is not officially registered and classified as such by the World Health Organisation, or the regulators. View new study published by WHO
Keeping silent and pointing at industry led research to prove there is only a small problem.
No. The drop-down oxygen masks are only for cabin decompression, so pilots are not allowed to drop the oxygen masks for smoke / fumes in the cabin.
Many people have used foldable half face respirator masks with ‘activated carbon’ successfully to avoid the worst of the fumes. For more information about masks click here
No. All jet aircraft which use bleed air are affected – including turbo propellers – however some aircraft models appear to be worse than others.
Yes, bleed air filtration – but it would cost money – most passengers say they would be content to pay extra for clean air.
By passengers complaining to the airlines and demanding clean air. Sign our petition demanding that Toxic Air Detectors (TADs) be fitted to all passenger jets.
By writing to the airline and aviation regulators and by encouraging other passengers to do the same.
Yes. Boeing has a new jet design, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which cannot have a fume event as it does not rely on air that has been bled off of the engines to supply the cabin with breathing air.