Passengers and crews aboard jet airliners are being exposed to hazardous contaminated air. Due to the altitude planes fly at, passengers need compressed air to breathe which is supplied from the engines. It is however ducted into the air conditioning system unfiltered, and is sometimes contaminated with pyrolised (heated) engine oils and hydraulic fluids. Passengers are not being advised when these exposures occur and most crews are reluctant to talk out. Toxic Free Airlines exists to raise awareness of this serious health hazard and flight safety issue to the travelling public and aircrew globally.
Specialist jet engine oils are not like car engine oils and contain a mixture of chemicals including organophosphates (OPs). In jet oil OPs are used as an anti-wear agent. Elsewhere they are used as insecticides, herbicides and as chemical weapons, such as the nerve gas, sarin. They are potent neurotoxins.
Toxic Free Airlines' founders have documented many cases of chemical exposure injuries amongst airline pilots, cabin crew and passengers. Passengers and crews around the world are becoming sick with 'Aerotoxic Syndrome', suffering symptoms similar to those exhibited by farmers handling organophosphate sheep dip and to Gulf War Syndrome sufferers. Symptoms include chronic fatigue, respiratory, neurological, cognitive problems and a sensitivity to chemicals. Many sufferers have had their health and their lives ruined. While many have been diagnosed with chronic illnesses related to the aircraft exposures, a significant number have been ignored or misdiagnosed with depression, other psychological problems or illnesses such as alzheimers or MS. Many have been shabbily treated by their employers and passengers are never even told they have been exposed.
In spite of the compelling evidence of a massive health and safety scandal the airline industry fails even to adequately acknowledge the problem, let alone to take action to protect crews and the travelling public. They know that fully admitting the scale of the problem could damage their business and leave them liable to huge compensation claims.
The problem of contaminated air exposures in aircraft has been known about for over 30 years and remained inadequately addressed, despite many Government and industry statements recognising the problem is in fact very real. This included the 2005 pilot union (BALPA) conference in London and the Australian Senate Inquiry of 2000, which acknowledged that crews and passengers exposed to aircraft air contamination were indeed becoming ill.