As more and more people are flying, including pilots, cabin crew and passengers, aerotoxic syndrome is becoming a major health issue. Christine Standing of aerotoxic.org gives an overview of aerotoxic syndrome and an update on current research and political and legal wranglings.
Summary of Aerotoxic Safety Risks
by Christine Standing MA
In 1955, there was a heated debate about the potential faults that were being introduced into aircraft air conditioning technology. The industry has had decades to correct this problem. During this time it dealt with the ensuing safety deficit by the use of denial. Now, the problem has resurfaced and it is the medical fraternity who are discovering the extent of the problem. Pilots, flight attendants and passengers are experiencing neurotoxic symptoms. The clue to discovering the reason for these lies in the fact that pilots are becoming incapacitated in-flight; some experience moments of black-out others are paralyzed; others have transitory neurological symptoms and find it difficult to land their aircraft safely. Responsible, fit and healthy young pilots have to be stretchered off aircraft and hospitalised. Others find that their illness progresses incrementally with each successive flight. Many have life-long illnesses as a result of this policy. In 1999, this condition was termed Aerotoxic Syndrome.