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Q. How do I know if I have Aerotoxic Syndrome?
A. Exclude all the other possible medical causes; then undergo specialised medical tests and link unusual illness with previous exposure(s) in a fume event flight(s).
Q. What are the symptoms of Aerotoxic syndrome?
A. As the toxic chemicals attack the Central Nervous System which controls all of the major organs in the body – symptoms are neurological and are many and varied. It is easy to be misdiagnosed and mistreated.
Q. Why are only some people affected?
A. About 30% of the population have difficulty in detoxifying toxic chemicals; 70% often find it difficult to understand the issue.
Q. Why can some from the same family on the same fume event flight suffer differently?
A. As people have different genes and have different exposures – no two people will have identical symptoms.
Q. What other medical issue can Aerotoxic Syndrome be compared to?
A. Passive tobacco smoke is comparable, the eventual outcome led to an international ban on smoking in public places, when it was finally accepted as a risk to public health.
Q. I am a passenger – can I get Aerotoxic Syndrome?
A. Yes, we have many testimonies from passengers affected by just one fume event whilst in flight.
Q. Who is most likely to get Aerotoxic Syndrome?
A. A percentage of aircrew and passengers, as they are exposed most to fumes.
Q. Why have most doctors never heard of Aerotoxic Syndrome?
A. Because Aerotoxic Syndrome is not officially registered by the World Health Authorities or the regulators.
Q. What are airlines doing about Aerotoxic Syndrome?
A. Keeping silent and pointing at industry led research to prove there is only a small problem.
Q. What happens to aircrew who are medically grounded?
A. They are often misdiagnosed, grounded and told by the airline regulators they have a ‘belief’ of ill health.
Q. What are the most frequent official misdiagnoses?
A. Hyperventilation, stress and psychosomatic (all in the head).
Q. Why don’t the media follow this issue and help to fix it?
A. It is thought that many journalists are dissuaded from writing about the issue, either through not properly understanding it, or are worried about harming the aviation industry.
Q. How many people are affected?
A. Millions of people have been exposed since bleed air was first used in 1963.
Q. Are the oxygen masks available for smoke / fumes protection for passengers?
A. 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.
Q. How can I protect myself on a flight from fumes?
A. Many people have used simple cheap ‘activated carbon’ face masks successfully to avoid the worst of the fumes.
Q. I have heard that only a few jet aircraft are susceptible to fume events – is this true?
A. No. All jet aircraft use bleed air – including turbo propellers – so all jet aircraft are affected but some appear to be worse than others.
Q. How often do fume events happen?
A. As there are no fume detectors – even on the most modern jets, it is impossible to give a figure but the UK Government works on 1 in 100 or 1 in 2000. Many aircrew say that each flight is affected.
Q. Are there solutions to stop fume events?
A. Yes, bleed air filtration – but it would cost money – most passengers say they would be content to pay extra for clean air.
Q. How will the issue be fixed?
A. By passengers complaining to the airlines and demanding clean air – at the moment they are being deliberately not informed of fume events. One airline will eventually take a commercial lead.
Q. What is Aerotoxic Syndrome like?
A. Many aircrew victims speak of being like ‘zombies’, ‘vegetative state’ or ‘Permanently intoxicated’.
Q. Why don’t passengers complain?
A. As the symptoms can kick in a few days after the flight passengers are often too ill and the airline tells them that they are the ‘only ones to complain…’
Q. How can passengers complain?
A. In writing to the airline but follow it up and get other passengers to complain. Never stop and get help from fit /well people, keep written records and take note of details.
Q. How will change eventually come about?
A. By passengers / customers understanding the issue and then demanding clean air from the airlines.
Q. Does the aviation industry know about the issue?
A. Yes. Boeing has a new jet design, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which can not have a fume event.