Symptoms of Aerotoxic Syndrome
Passengers, pilots and cabin crew who experienced an acute fume event or long-term exposure to contaminated cabin air complain of the following symptoms: headaches; fatigue; vision and breathing problems; aching muscles; memory impairment; lack of concentration; and the inability to focus.
The toxic chemicals in these fumes attack the central nervous system; this consists of the spinal cord and the brain, which is the major functional part of the CNS. Repeated exposure and/or an acute, heavy fume event can cause severe neurological injury to the central nervous system. It can also cause many and varied symptoms, resulting in the so called Aerotoxic Syndrome.
Many aircrew victims speak of feeling like “zombies” or as if in a “vegetative state”. Some were even described as if they were “permanently intoxicated”. The individual symptoms can be easily misdiagnosed and mistreated.
- Fatigue (feeling exhausted, even after sleep)
- Blurred or tunnel vision
- Shaking and tremors
- Loss of balance and vertigo
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory impairment
- Light-headedness, dizziness
- Confusion / cognitive problems
- Feeling intoxicated
- Breathing difficulties (shortness of breath)
- Tightness in chest
- Respiratory failure requiring oxygen
- Increased heart rate and palpitations
- Irritation of eyes, nose and upper airways
- Plus more!
Most physicians have never heard of the term Aerotoxic Syndrome.
Indeed, they are unaware of the contamination of aircraft breathing air with neurotoxic chemicals and the effects of poisoning. Due to this, many physicians often diagnose sufferers instead with psychological or psychosomatic disorders: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS); “mysterious” viral infections; sleep disorders; depression; stress or anxiety; or simply “jet lag”, which is caused by crossing time zones.
Such part-diagnoses on their own miss the root cause of the problem: poisoning after exposure to toxic jet-oil components and jet-kerosene fumes in a confined space. Furthermore, any misdiagnosis is likely to lead to inappropriate treatments, which may make the condition even worse. If you believe you have been exposed to such fumes, please click here.