To whom it may concern.
It has been long accepted and admitted that compressed air from jet engines has been contaminated with engine oil which contains many harmful chemicals including VOC’s and Organophosphate substances which are universally accepted to be harmful to health with well-known symptoms.
The UK Government has been aware and discussing the problem for a number of years whilst the vast majority of the public and medical profession remain completely unaware of scale and extent of the problem.
As a result of 27 pilots’ blood and fat being tested in March – May of 2006 with associated memory and cognitive function tests carried out at the same time by UCL (University College London) it has revealed shocking and incontrovertible evidence that there is a serious health hazard for anybody who flies in these aeroplanes; especially the crews and is therefore a serious flight safety issue. The report will be available from May 22nd 2006, but may be restricted in its distribution for obvious reasons.
Other people that have also been at risk are the entire Royal family and senior members of the Government who have flown on the BAe 146 for the last twenty years and cannot have escaped the same contamination.
The BAe 146 and Boeing 757 are well known for being the worst offenders of commercial airliners, possibly due to sharing a similar make of APU or Auxiliary Power Unit and its use on the ground.
There have been many incidents and fatal accidents attributed to ‘fatigue’ and ‘pilot error’ on the BAe 146 and B. 757 over the years but never any suggestion that contaminated air is fundamentally to blame.
I wish to make it clear that due to intense covering up of the phenomenon over the past ten years or more it is now my duty to point out that any accident in the future should be regarded as probably being caused by this effect and for any suggestion that it is not a factor to be subject of a criminal enquiry and manslaughter charges for those people denying the link.
John Grahame Hoyte
22nd May 2006.
My previous Statement was written on 22 May 2006 and is now updated as a result of new evidence.
At the time, I was sure that I had discovered a cause of mass public ill health, with little to do with medicine, science and all to do with money – public health is claimed as paramount.
On 18 June 2007, I launched the Aerotoxic Association Ltd. www.aerotoxic.org at the Houses of Parliament, London having founded the association as a Limited Company ‘The Charity’ on 19 March 2007. https://aerotoxic.org/memorandum-of-association-of-aerotoxic association-ltd-the-charity/
Present at the launch were Captain Tristan Loraine, Dr Susan Michaelis, Captain Julian Soddy (formerly of BALPA – British Airline Pilot Association) and other aircrew, plus Samantha Sabatino – a passenger.
LHS John Hoyte, Susan Michaelis with paper, Tristan Loraine with tin, Julian Soddy RHS.
The launch was covered by The Daily Telegraph 24 June 2007: Pilots disabled by poisoned air: https://aerotoxic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Christopher-Bookers-notebook Telegraph-1.pdf
The term Aerotoxic Syndrome was first published on 20 October 1999 https://aerotoxic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Balouet-et-al-1999.pdf by US Flight surgeon Dr Harry Hoffman, forensic scientist Dr Jean Christophe Balouet of France and toxicologist Professor Chris Winder of Australia as a result of their research throughout the 1990’s.
I was unaware of the term in my previous Statement, as Capt. Loraine first introduced it to me in June 2006. The chronology of this ‘story’ is essential throughout: Who knew which evidence and when.
More recently, the UK government and aviation lawyers have referred to the public disease as ‘Aerotoxic Poisoning’ https://aerotoxic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/mp-fiona-bruce 30th-june-2019.pdf or ‘Aerotoxicity’ or ‘Aero Toxic’.
WHO published an updated report in 2017: “AEROTOXIC SYNDROME: A NEW OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE?”.
Since 2006, I have met and been contacted by countless other members of the public from around the world who have had their health adversely affected by flying in ‘Bleed air’ jets https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETRZDsgjEvE that comprise all jets, with the sole
exception of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which does not use bleed air architecture for cabin air.
In this Statement, as a cross section of survivors, I cite three different examples of evidence over the past 16 years of 1) A former RAF test Pilot 2) A group (40) of Passengers and 3) A former Cabin Crew – flying in different countries and in different types of jet aircraft.
- Captain Julian Soddy, a former RAF and BAe 146 pilot and campaigner who has appeared in many documentaries since 2004 including a BBC Panorama ‘Something in the air’ shown on 21 April 2008. His evidence was in the House of Lords 2007 Science & Technology Report. Captain Soddy of Norfolk, UK chaired the BALPA (British Airline Pilot Association) Cabin Air Quality London conference of 20/21 April 2005:
https://www.anstageslicht.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Geschichten/Aerotoxisches_Synd rom/BALPA-CAPC-London-2005_WINDER.pdf & https://vimeo.com/11111751
- A group of 40 unrelated passengers (including young children) of Flight XLA 120 on 1 February 2007 led by Samantha Sabatino flying from London Gatwick, UK to Sanford International, Florida, US also gave evidence to the House of Lords in 2007, appeared in a 2007 documentary ‘Welcome Aboard Toxic Airlines’, BBC Panorama of 2008, ‘Toxic Flyer’ 60 Minutes ABC Australia in 2013 & Stewarts Law of London represented them until 2012.
3 May 2010
The Stewarts Law Attorney Group represents 20 British passengers who were seriously injured by aircraft toxic fumes exposure on 1 February 2007. The incident occurred when they were flying onboard an XL Airways Boeing 767 from London Gatwick to Sanford International, Florida.
The dangerous toxins were released into the cabin through the bleed air system which (as on most airliners) draws high-pressure air from the core of the engines to pressurise the aircraft with breathable air. It has long been known that this design can result in the cabin air becoming contaminated with toxic oil vapour when the engine oil seals leak.
Passengers detected the toxic air as they began to notice an odd smell similar to ‘smelly socks’. The cabin seemed more ‘stuffy’ and ‘hot’ than any previous flight they had been on, and the air severely irritated their eyes, nose and throat. The
passengers quickly became ill, suffering respiratory issues, severe headaches, vomiting, bowel problems, skin blistering and extreme fatigue. The toxic air also caused them to experience long term / chronic effects such as respiratory problems, memory loss, sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue, mood swings, cognitive difficulties, infections, and joint/limb pains.
To put pressure on the US manufacturers to deal with these known cabin air problems and to obtain fair compensation for the passengers, on 29 January 2009 specialist litigation firm Stewart’s Law filed the case in Illinois, the state where Boeing has its Headquarters. In addition to ‘Boeing’, the lawsuit was filed against
‘Hamilton Sundstrand’ (manufacturers of air systems components), ‘United Technologies’ (manufacturers of the Pratt & Whitney engines) and the owners of the aircraft – ‘AAR Parts Trading Inc’.
This case is an outright US product liability case against US defendants. However, the defendants were intent on having the case sent back to the UK courts (which are much more expensive for claimants and award much lower compensation). They filed a forum non-conveniens motion, arguing that the UK is the most convenient place for the litigation.
After the prolonged legal battle, on 3 May 2010 Judge Quinn decided in favour of the passengers and dismissed the defendants’ forum non-conveniens motion. Stewart’s Law has achieved a great victory for the passengers. Securing US jurisdiction along with the prospect of a high profile jury trial is a wake up call for US manufacturers – unless they take measures to improve the quality of cabin air now, they will face the credible prospect of expensive and public US litigation for future incidents where there is an identifiable toxic fumes leak that causes injury.
A large group of unrelated passengers (which may include doctors,scientists and politicians etc) becoming acutely and chronically sick on the same flight is crucial to demonstrate that anyone can be made sick on any flight as they ‘pay to fly’ and that both aircrew and passengers are genuinely ill and do not have the so-called ‘Nocebo effect’ or ‘hyperventilation’ https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Before-you-fly/Am-I-fit-to fly/Guidance-for-health-professionals/Aircraft-fume-events/ as often claimed by some ‘doctors’:
***Both Captain Soddy and the XLA 120 passenger evidence may all be viewed at the following: http://www.unfiltered.vip/flight-xla
- Evelyn van den Heuvel – formerly a cabin crew of KLM and The Netherlands who began flying aged 23 in 2006 – flew for only three years and is now permanently injured and harmed for life and she finally won her public court case in June 2021. “I want aerotoxic syndrome to become a recognized disease. I wasn’t aware of it. Now I’m a wreck”. Another legal precedent for countless others:
https://www.tubantia.nl/binnenland/ex-stewardess-strijdt-tegen-giftige-lucht-in cabine-ik-ben-een-wrak~af6e3cef/ & https://youtu.be/P94i7_eM13A
After understanding the cause of mass public ill health in early 2006, I attended the first meeting of the Global Cabin Air Quality Executive (GCAQE) https://www.gcaqe.org/ on the 5 October 2006.
I have attended each of 15 annual conferences of GCAQE since including the online conference 15-18 March 2021. https://www.gcaqe.org/webinars
A key expert witness over the past 20 years has been Dr Sarah Mackenzie Ross of University College London (UCL) who attended the BALPA conference of 2005, attended the first GCAQE meeting of 2006 and continues to work on and research this public health issue. https://www.sarahmackenzieross.com/
During the last half of 2021, I have hosted regular weekly ‘A’ Team Friday meetings on Zoom which includes former US aviation insurance Expert with an aerotoxic injured flight attendant daughter; a former General Practitioner; a Professor – expert in sensor technology and aerotoxic syndrome; an expert witness aviation Engineer; a former Sub Postmaster who are all unaffected by aerotoxic syndrome and several past and present aircrew.
We have, as an expert team, published in mid 2021 a novel engineering solution in a recognized journal for avoiding contaminated air in the future.
BBC – coverage of CAQ (Cabin Air Quality) over the past 17 years has been disappointing given that the illness can affect anyone who flies as evidenced by the BBC Panorama coverage of a large passenger group in 2008 and is usually only broadcast on regional programmes or the World Service in the small hours of the morning.
In 2009, I contacted the BBC to cover new published research and a Radio 4 Today programme was broadcast on 24 September 2009. Detailed evidence may be seen in my personal diaries (which I kept from 17 October 2006 to 23 July 2013) of other members of the public who contacted me following the broadcast and I am still in touch with today. http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8270000/8270978.stm
In 2015, I was interviewed live by the BBC in Norwich about the legal case of Richard Westgate, a former BA pilot, who had first contacted the Aerotoxic Association on 16 March 2012 and died on 12 December 2012. On the way to the studio, I was told by the BBC that I could appear but must not mention either the airlines I had flown for, TNT & Flybe, or the words ‘Cover-up’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGVL1N4LZYM
It has been frustrating recently that the BBC have not kept the public informed about public court wins and published science with the absence of any open public debate which is now blocking formal medical recognition and the known/available solutions from introduction.
The latest BBC coverage was on 25 February 2020 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories 51633897 and it is known that the 260 UK aircrew legal cases will finally begin from March 2022, and the British public and BBC licence fee payers are in for a shock.
“After years of gathering evidence, 10 lead cases against four UK airlines are due at the Royal Courts of Justice this year. Unite, the union behind the action, says it wants the public to know about the aviation industry’s biggest secret. “An extraordinary amount of powerful evidence has been gathered,” says General Secretary Howard Beckett. “The simple reality for us is that our members are at risk from low-level exposure, and it is a simple reality that frequent fliers will also be at risk as a result,” he told me.”
Over the past two years particularly, new evidence has been sent to the BBC, but the public appear to being kept in the dark. Aerotoxic appears to be a taboo and banned word.
As a result of a chance meeting in May 2021 with a senior research Doctor of Oxford University Neuroscience https://www.neuroscience.ox.ac.uk/ it was hoped that their interest in ‘further research’ work might take place, but this was before a key peer reviewed paper was published, the Dutch public court win and ACES of late 2021 – so no further interest resulted.
Dr David Megson
Just before the premature death of Dr Jean Christophe Balouet on 31 March 2021, he put me in touch with Dr David Megson of Manchester University who explained that a new ‘peer reviewed’ scientific paper would be published later in 2021.
This paper “Occupational risk of organophosphates and other chemical and radiative exposure in the aircraft cabin: A systematic review” was finally published in July 2021: https://aerotoxic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Hayes-et-al-aerotox-review.pdf
It was particularly frustrating that this key peer reviewed published paper was not shared with the public by the BBC and other media with the public as of public interest, however the paper has since been sent to and acknowledged by the Business Manager to the Chair and Chief Executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority on 17 December 2021.
Recent key evidence from the US includes: The Aerotoxic Association was contacted by Attorney John Martin of KJC Law in Boston in early October 2020 and based on my help now advertises to represent injured parties (aircrew or passengers).
& Blog https://www.massachusettsinjurylawyer-blog.com/the-secret-risks-of-flying aerotoxic-syndrome-explained/
There are around 10 other US law companies advertising for new clients – Google ‘Toxic Cabin Air’: https://www.schmidtlaw.com/aerotoxic-syndrome-lawsuit/
In July 2020, a key legal case of Captain Andrew Myers was won in the US: https://48b4ed48-471d-4786-b5ed
US Attorney’s piece for the Myer’s case: https://48b4ed48-471d-4786-b5ed b7d9563b03f8.filesusr.com/ugd/3e3e4e_6488a47ee0ac40a6b0f06fc1101d2fed.pdf
The LA Times reported on 17 December 2020 about Toxic Cabin Air ‘We are slowly being poisoned’. This article focused on the reasoning behind the absence of toxic air sensors: https://www.latimes.com/projects/toxic-chemicals-planes-covid-19-travel-woes/ “Senior Boeing engineers worried that data from sensors would prove damaging in lawsuits by sick passengers and crew members”.
In 2021, Teledyne of the US announced the first Toxic Air Sensor – Aircraft Cabin Environment Sensor (ACES) which has been approved for the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 but is able to be used in any bleed air jet aircraft.
In Teledyne’s White Paper:
Areas of Controversy:
Whether deserved or not, bleed air is often the primary target in the cabin air quality debate, even though typically electric fans and many other cabin items contribute a far greater number of reported SFO events. One reason is bleed air’s possible role as a conduit to bringing low levels of engine oil or hydraulic fluid into the cabin, which might be harmful for people exposed over long periods of time. Suspicion has fallen on engine load bearing seals (see Figure 11) as one source of oil, and compounds such as tricresyl phosphate, or TCP, in the oil as perhaps responsible for causing harm. Aerotoxic Syndrome has been proposed as a name for the symptoms seen in some flight crew, but there remains debate about whether or not it exists.
It would appear that further open public debate is required to judge whether Aerotoxic Syndrome does actually exist.
In 2014, respected aviation journalist David Learmount wrote the following Foreword for my ‘Pilot Press’ published book ‘Aerotoxic Syndrome – Aviation’s Darkest Secret’ https://aerotoxic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Aerotoxic-Syndrome-Book-1.pdf
Aerotoxic syndrome exists. But so does systematic denial by the aviation industry and its government backers. As an aviation journalist for 35 years at the time of writing this Foreword, for a long time I believed the industry when it told me, hand on heart, that the dangers to pilot and passenger health of engine oil fumes entering aircraft cabins were dramatically exaggerated and very rare. But eventually I agreed to meet two former airline pilots who had suffered damage and lost their careers to aerotoxic syndrome. I had, however, met others before and had not been convinced, so what made the difference this time? Tristan Loraine and Susan Michaelis provided me with the technical data and evidence of something that had been going on for years – about 50 years. They informed me about the chemicals involved, the ongoing biochemical research into the damage these can cause to humans, the fume event occurrences and what makes them happen, and the human stories of pilots and cabin crew affected. And through them I met a network of aeromedical specialists and biochemists who were studying the issue in detail. Then I started asking questions again in the industry, but I was much better informed this time. No aircraft or aero-engine manufacturer denies that fumes from engine oil can get into cockpits and cabins, nor do they deny that these ‘fume events’ happen from time to time. They do not deny either that these engine oils contain organophosphate materials that can cause neurological damage in humans. The oil containers even have warnings on them to that effect. The reason the industry and its government backers can keep the lid on this issue is that the burden of proof about the damage these fumes can cause rests with the victims. The industry answers charges about health damage by denial and dissembling, which the system lets them do because of the rules about where the burden of proof lies. The industry’s lawyers are masters of technical points of law that enable them to claim that the victims have no legal proof of the connection between Aerotoxic Syndrome a fume event and the symptoms that the victims suffer as a result. The lawyers can argue that the cause might lie elsewhere in the victim’s life, or in their metabolism, and this ‘negative’ allegation is very difficult to disprove. There is a precise parallel here between the legal war fought for years between the tobacco industry and damaged smokers and the medical world who were looking for the proof of a connection between tobacco smoking and lung cancer. Everybody knew that there was a connection, but the burden of proof was with the victims, and until a precise biomarker could establish that the cancer was initiated by the
effects of tobacco-based chemicals in specific individuals who smoked, the industry could go on denying. The only difference between these two cases is one of scale. The health effects of tobacco affected billions of people worldwide, whereas although aircraft fume events happen regularly, they only occur once every several hundred flights. And when they do, some individuals are affected while others are not, because of metabolic differences between individual humans and the frequency of exposure that any individual suffers. The fact that fewer people are involved makes it easier for the industry and government to continue the denial, and more difficult for those damaged to seek any form of redress – or even acknowledgement of their medical condition. It means ordinary doctors are kept in ignorance of the syndrome and its symptoms, making misdiagnosis more likely. The fact is that, for those who are affected, the effect of aerotoxic syndrome on their lives can be devastating. For that reason, it is obscene that the industry washes its hands of the issue, and even worse that governments collude, because there are ways of reducing or even eliminating the risk of airborne fume events. But while denial exists and governments collude with the manufacturers and airlines, these remedies will not be applied. That is what this book is about.
Operations and safety editor, Flight International
It is on record that Carbon Monoxide (CO) sensors were used in RAF fighters in 1941 during WW2 so for sensors to be first available in public transport jets over 80 years later demonstratesthe averseness for governments and aircraft manufacturers to allow the flying public to know what is in cabin air.
Since 2006, much emphasis has been put on organophosphate (OP) chemical exposure being responsible for public ill health, but over the past 20 years OP’s have been downgraded to ‘irritant’ chemicals rather than ‘deadly’ which was how they were classified when I was an aerial crop spraying pilot in the 1980’s and few scientists or even specialist aviation doctors are aware either of the presence of OP’s in jet engine oil as an anti-wear additive or the illness.
However, more recently the invisible, odourless, colourless, tasteless, deadly gas of carbon monoxide (CO) has been suggested as being present in contaminated air in aircraft as this can cause acute and chronic public ill health symptoms which a well-documented, published Boeing 727 oil fume event flight of 22 September 1992 with the following acute symptoms over the first 14 days but the illness has continued chronically for over 25 years for US Flight Attendant Deanne de Witte Freise:
In Flight – All four flight attendants reported illness, Passengers reported nausea and headaches. Symptoms: CNS-anaesthesia, acute respiratory, acute neuromuscular, acute confusion.
5 Hours ER: Probable Inhalation Injury Diagnosis Notes: Nausea, headaches, tunnel vision, legs weak and heavy, fasciculations, back and neck pain, shakes, spasms, abdominal cramping, needles and tingles, skin burning hot, burning chest, hot flashes, ears, ringing, joint pain.
16 Hours ER Record: cognitive problems, disoriented, memory and concentration. disoriented, slurred speech and stammering, headache, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, sweating, Carbon Monoxide Level 2.5
20 Hours Internist Doctor: ataxia, inability to coordinate thumb and finger, inability to subtract 7 serially from 100, inability to remember 3 digits, Diagnosis: organic brain syndrome beyond acute anxiety – Toxic Encephalopathy.
Day 2 Lost sense of humour, Personality gone, Couldn’t match socks, Retarded, Muscle spasms, Wandering, agitated, angry at forgetfulness, Falling up and down stairs, Balance gone, Black chemical diarrhoea.
Day 3 Son found mother could not turn on washing machine- EMTs were called, Neurologist documents toxic encephalopathy with significant cognitive dysfunction, Organic brain syndrome, small white rash on face and neck, Weak right lower extremity, Memory loss, Speech disorder.
Day 5 Reads paper but does not retain anything, Increasing weakness and involvement of neck muscles and eye muscles, Head falls to the right.
Day 8 and 9 Increased weakness of arms and legs, Stumbling when walking, Muscle twitches, Neck pain, Manual dexterity decreased, Fuzzy vision, Hair loss, Cognitive disorientation. Day 10 Neuropsychologist indicated cognitive problems consistent with Toxic Encephalopathy and recommends specific cognitive remediation.
Day 14 Unstable, Drift of right arm and leg, Confusion, Visual problems, Headaches, Joint pain, Using words wrong, Generalized weakness, Difficulty reading because words tend to jump on the page.
The 2019 US Cabin Air Safety Act made specific reference to the introduction of CO monitors: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2208/text?r=8&s=1
Horizon Scan of the Disease Market for 2021 published by BC Legal of Southend listed aerotoxic Syndrome first: https://www.bc-legal.co.uk/bcdn/1159-319-horizon-scan-of-the disease-market-for-2021
Despite all previously published evidence since the 1950’s, there is still a claim of ‘no positive evidence’ of Aerotoxic Syndrome and attempting to communicate with public authorities who are accountable has become challenging as they generally answer with silence.
It is also more challenging to know exactly which ‘evidence’ to produce as over the past 17 years as countless members of the public, family and friends have also known about this public health issue and find it equally difficult to know how to handle it or how it will end.
Therefore, in 2015 I contacted the Norfolk Police to put evidence on the public record and since then have kept in touch with a Staff Officer who has a record of events and evidence and will be sent a copy of this formally witnessed Public Statement.
One of the main difficulties that I have encountered has been that my Member of Parliament since 2015, Clive Lewis of Norwich South, has refused to communicate – not only with me but other constituents about this ‘campaign’, despite being a Labour party MP and with past connections to Unite the Union – even though I met him in 2015 and gave him a copy of my 2014 book.
In frustration, I wrote to the office of HM Queen in 2016 and received a reply and left Norwich to try and find a more understanding UK MP in March 2021:
The Guardian covered the issue on 19 August 2017: ‘There are hundreds of sick crew’ is toxic air on planes making frequent flyers ill?
Unite the Union’s 2020 position on toxic cabin air: https://www.unitetheunion.org/news events/news/2020/february/airlines-must-stop-buck-passing-and-take-immediate-action-on toxic-air/
Previously, I and the Aerotoxic Association had excellent representation from 2007 to 2010 from John Maples MP, which is all recorded.
Since then,several MP’s have become aware of the public health issue including Henry Smith MP who called for a debate in 2015:
2016 House of Commons Aerotoxic Syndrome debate:
Since 2006, there has been a large amount of ‘peer reviewed’ international research into Aerotoxic Poisoning yet after each study ‘Further research’ is recommended.
To date, chemical contaminants such as CO have been identified but still the levels or doses in a visible oil fume event have not been openly published and no researcher has ever yet asked for any evidence from the Aerotoxic Association.
Nearly 16 years later, I know I have discovered an inconvenient cause of mass public ill health with deliberately harmful medicine, questionable science, and huge amounts of money.
I have in recent weeks reasoned that it is best to write an updated formal public Statement of truth as I am exhausted, embarrassed and have ‘run out of words’ and to then remain silent, except for attending any public court.
Visible oil fume event accident 5 August 2019
260 UK legal cases are due to be judged at the UK Royal Courts of Justice from March 2022.
The 17th annual GCAQE conference will be 14-15 September 2022:
ACES sensors are already in use by a major US airline and low-cost personal CO data loggers are available for aircrew and passengers, it is reasoned that it is only a matter of time before attorneys call for evidence in the form of data which has been recorded – both of the levels of contaminants present in cabin air and of their duration.
For example, Carbon Monoxide records will be available in the future from oil fume event flights such as XLA 120.
8 January 2022: “Strong Chemical Odor On Alaska Airlines Plane Sends Two Flight Attendants to the Hospital”
“So-called ‘smoke, odor, or fume’ events, as they are known in the industry, are sometimes referred to as ‘toxic fume events’ because of the devastating impact that they can reportedly have on the short and long term health of those exposed to one”.