“Till this day, the only thing filtering this toxic soup out of the cabin are the lungs of the passengers and crew”. This quote sets the tone for this book.
A good listener only needs half a word: bleed air for the pressure cabin. With the introduction of the jet engine in the civilian aviation in 1955, compressed air is also tapped out (bleed air) of the engines for the air pressure in the pressure cabin. Since then the risk exist that toxic elements (fuel adding’s, oil steam, carbon dioxide) as unwanted by-product is blown into the cabin. A broken oil sealing in an engine is the cause. The unwanted ‘combustion products’ which than can enter the cabin and naturally also the cockpit, with the fresh air (!), equals the air pollution near a high way, through which a person on average lives 9 months shorter.
This book is written by a professional pilot with 30 years of experience, who, in the end was declared unfit on vague medical grounds (psychological confused?) Before that there was a long period with increasing complaints, which he and the consulted pilot doctors didn’t understand. What he did discover was that he was not the only one with those kind of problems. When the suspicion of bleed air related problems occurred, the aviation companies and supplying industry quickly acknowledged that this caused dramatic risks for their management. What the reaction was on that, can be guessed…. A tight directed denial of any thinkable risk for passengers and crew when it came to the cabin atmosphere. Till today this is persevered.
This book tells about the actions of ill fallen crew members to gain recognition for the aerotxic syndrome. For example, poisoning by toxic elements due to bleed air blameable sickness symptoms. And the proof of the opposite by ‘the relief workers’ are brought forward. In this relation it is remarkable that Boeing has given its Dreamliner 787 a not from bleed air depending pressure cabin system. The account of crew members as well as passengers who live with the assumption that their illness symptoms come from the aerotoxic syndrome, forms a great part of this book. The reading of that makes you not a ‘happy frequent flyer’!
It is their word against that of the categorical denial of the aviation companies. Both camps give an avalanche of technical support for their arguments. My conclusion: where there is smoke, there usually is also fire. Striking is the considerable input from The Netherlands. As well as alleged (?) victims from the cockpit and the cabin as employers and TNO are elaborated cited. John Hoyte has made it a crusade for his fellow victims and for himself to gain recognition for the caused harm upon them. Till today with limited success.
The reading of this book did gave me food for thought. For the long distance I will now search for the availability of Dreamliner 787-flights. John Hoyte has published a good, thorough and wide study with this book, that asks attention for the phenomena ‘bleed air’, which -in no matter what amount present in the modern cabins – is not acceptable for crew and passengers.
More info via http://aerotoxic.org/
Photo source; AOPA