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Airline Travelers in Danger of Aerotoxic Syndrome

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Inhalation of toxic airplane cabin air causes an illness that has been named Aerotoxic Syndromeand is a major flight safety issue. The cabin air is contaminated with oil from the jet engines because a supply of warm compressed air is pumped into the cabin which comes from the air passing through the airplane's jet engines. The air is contaminated through the mixture of air and jet oil when the seals of the engine leak oil into the air that is circulated through them. Due to the design of the way engine oil seals work and the natural wear of the engine seals, these seals cannot be 100% effective, and will leak a certain amount of oil into the air. The seals can also mechanically fail causing a visible "fume" of smoke fumes to enter the cabin. There are no filters of the cabin air supply to prevent this was happening. The effects of inhaling contaminated air can cause serious impairment to the crew and passengers at the time and causes an illness that is often not immediately identified and can have cause chronic long term health effects.

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It is possible according to government sources that one flight in 100 may suffer a "fume" event (contamination may even be more frequent), but it is accepted most events are never reported at all. Small amounts of contamination of the cabin air may not be detected at all. So it is likely that this problem is under reported due to a lack of awareness of the public, airline staff, and maintenance personnel. A contamination event may be detected by just a faint odor to the air but can also be a visible bluish haze or smoke in the cabin.

Jet engine oil is specially designed to withstand intense heat and extreme environment of these high velocity engines. The oil contains many toxic ingredients, including a organophosphate - Tricresyl Phosphate (TCP) which is added to engine oil as an anti-wear agent. It must be remembered that organophosphates are used in nerve agents. TCP is much more dangerous than first realized because it contains neutotoxic. isomers, tri-ortho-cresyl phosphate (TOCP), MOCP (mono-ortho-cresyl phosphate) and DOCP (di-ortho-cresyl phosphate). The mixture of chemicals in the aircraft engine oils are heated and vaporized producing a large list of other chemicals including carbon monoxide.

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I agree with a great deal of what is written in th... by James Hadstate on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 10:03:04 AM
I appreciate your clarification of how the air get... by MedicalWhistleblower on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 10:21:34 AM
Cholera was once thought to have been caused by ba... by Dave Kisor on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 10:49:48 AM
The aerospace industry knows all about this proble... by Susan Michaelis on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 3:22:47 PM
Thank you Captain Michaelis for your informative r... by MedicalWhistleblower on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 11:23:23 PM