The Aerotoxic Logbook (ATLB) in English (EN)

The problem has been known since the 1950s - roughly 70 years and nothing has ever been done about it.  The air in the cabin is still ‚bled off’ (the engines) in airplanes - with the well-known possible consequences for flight safety and health, in particular that of  flight crew. We have the cultural history on 'Flying is safe' and the ongoing problems investigated at www.ansTageslicht.de/cabinair (EN).

Although the cabin air is 50% re-circulated in modern aircraft types, the basic problem remains unsolved. With one exception: the Boeing B787.  This is/was also the state of knowledge at the first big conference on this topic in London in September 2017. The presentations can now be viewed here: www.aircraftcabinair.com  

There are many reasons why no solutions are found: the targeted influencing of scientific discussions, the airlines’ economic interests, the links between politics and air transport industry and other reasons.

The ‚Aerotoxic Logbook’, launched in January 2017, is a first comprehensive documentation addressing the problem of potentially contaminated cabin air (www.ansTageslicht.de/Kabininenluft - German) and documents what is happening in this area.  Or, what is not happening. And why not. This German language blog (www.ansTageslicht.de/ATLB) is now also available in English and can be accessed directly via this permalink: www.ansTageslicht.de/ENATLB.

The information we collect in German is translated by Bearnairdine BEAUMONT who operates the network www.aerotoxicteam.com  and the blog www.aerotoxicsyndrombook.com/blog.

With the ‚Aerotoxic Logbook’ we want to achieve international networking,  bringing together all initiatives and activities to communicate about this unsolved problem and to initiate solutions. At the same time it is a scientific experiment: What must happen before a problem is addressed?

Other initiatives providing information on the contaminated air issue you can get here (right side).

January, 2nd, 2020

Co-pilot unconscious after Fume Event during the landing approach

This is the horror scenario: one pilot suddenly smells the "old socks" smell, the other, who is currently piloting the plane, does not. But precisely that one is knocked out on the spot. The second helmsman, in this case, the captain, sends out a "Mayday" call and takes over command four miles before touching down, after he has donned his oxygen mask. Aviation Herald reported this on January 4th.

B.A. has - as we have reported here in the past - had such problems a lot lately. But, as usual these incidents are regularly - as has always been the case - played down. In any case, the Airbus A320-200 in question was maintenanced and had to spend about 85 hours on the ground to do so. That’s 3 1/2 days. That's how long it takes to clean the ducts and air conditioning of such an aircraft. And with such a number of work-hours, it also becomes clear why the airlines have little interest and even less desire to do what is necessary after a fume-event incident. Unless the 'customers', the passengers, put pressure on them.

As always, they did not notice and were not informed about the problem at any time. Not even later on.

A summary of the process  is available in German language at aero.de.

End of November 2019

Over 50 Fume Event incidents at BA within one month

This was published in connection with a petition running via change.org. Most of the aircraft types are Airbus A319, A320, A321s.

So far, about 125,000 people have signed the petition. 150,000 signatures are the next target. The question is which other industry is allowed to harm the health of its employees and/or customers on such a regular base?

We are looking for more petitioners!

20th November 2019

Measurements in a Lufthansa aircraft

Passengers themselves should measure the pollutants in the cabin air during a flight much more often. Then, the argument used by EASA and their contractor MHH Hannover (Medizinische Hochschule Hannover) that aircraft cabin air is better than that in kindergartens, can truly be exposed as a 'fairy tale'.

And this occurred on an LH flight LH 0887 on the Vilnius-Frankfurt route in an Airbus 320neo - we have deposited a larger screenshot from the short video as a picture here. By clicking on the image, the values measured are easier to see. The video can be viewed here.

Unmistakable: Both measuring instruments sound an alarm. And this although we are not talking about a fume-event. The yellow number in the left measuring device indicates the air quality in general, then is differentiated into individual substances: A value of almost 0.3 is measured for "HCHO" (in red), which is formaldehyde. Not only the German "Committee for Indoor Air Quality (AIR)" has set limit values at 0.1 mg/m3 for formaldehyde. The WHO classifies formaldehyde as "carcinogenic" (Cat: carc. 1B) and "mutagenic" (Cat: muta.2).

AIR writes: "This value should also not be exceeded over a short time (longer than half an hour)". The measured value is almost three times higher, and a flight from Vilnius to Frankfurt is longer than half an hour.

An assessment of the other measured values is linked here. By the way, the measuring device on the left shows the cosmic radiation at 2.06 microsieverts.

We can only ask and suggest that passengers carry out such private measurements themselves - and to make them known. Such persons who wish to send us their information we guarantee anonymity. With us such persons also remain anonymous (see How you can communicate with us safely).

22 October 2019

Once again 22 years on the DGB puts the subject of occupational disease on its agenda

The German GroKo coalition agreement states that politicians want reform, so something must be put on the table. The last legislative changes date back to 1997 - so some time ago. In these more than 20 years, a little more than 1 million people have probably been left empty-handed in the statutory accident insurance system, although they fell ill and with a (very) significant probability became unable to work on the job. Every year over 50,000 people fall from the social grid.

The DGB, German Head of all trade-unsions, and in particular also the, in the meantime active industrial union "Metal" had invited IG Metall to a conference: When the job makes you ill - the BK rights on the test stand.

Representatives of the parties CDU/CSU, SPD, LEFT and GREENS were invited to the panel-discussion - along with the leader responsible for social policy, Markus HOFMANN, DGB - CDU/CSU. They were able to present their ideas on reform in general and, in particular, on the Federal Government's draft bill (see entry October 17th).

Without repeating the discussion here, this insight emerged above all:

  • Not all politicians know about the problems of the GUV system and of the difficulties of those affected
  • Not all politicians take the trouble to take note of them.

We had informed all on the podium beforehand, drawing their attention to our compact summary here www.ansTageslicht.de/Reform.

In connection with the research project Risk Perception, we will evaluate who expressed which needs for reform and how and who addressed which fundamental problems.

If we were to give school grades, the parties and their representatives  performed like this: (= 1 equals best) 

  •     LEFT-WING Party (MdB Jutta KRELLMANN): 1.3
  •     SPD (MdB Bernd RÜTZEL): 2.3
  •     GREENS (MdB Beate MÜLLER-GEMMEKE): 3.7
  •     CSU/CDU (MdB Max STRAUBINGER): 4.3

In summary: only the representatives of the parties the LINKE and the SPD are real contact persons for these unsolved occupational health problems.

September 24th, 2019

Summary of the London International Aircraft Cabin Air Conference 2019

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dieter SCHOLZ, himself a speaker at the conference in London, has summarized the results of all lectures and discussions in a condensed form: "Congress on poisoned cabin air in aircraft". 

The problem is complicated because it affects many specialist areas: Medicine/Aeronautical Medicine, Toxicology, Occupational Medicine, Aircraft Systems and Cabin Air Technology as well as legal aspects such as labour law. Everything is regulated differently in different countries.

In focus, among others: the strategic behaviour of the aviation business. "A tactic of obfuscation and delay is generally observed," says Prof. SCHOLZ. "For proactive companies, however, new business fields are opening up, which is also the case in the industrial area of environmental technology, in which Germany has an excellent standing worldwide.

New filter technologies were presented; however, it remains the fact that only RAM-Air techniques can completely eliminate the central design fault with bleed air. The Boeing 787 already uses this principle and also saves fuel with it.

Aircraft must be able to fly without polluting emissions and must have sensors installed for this purpose, something that is stated by FAA and EASA regulations. Indes: Nobody follows them, and no supervisory authority nor politicians intervene.

How strongly the FAA supports these concealment tactics, for example, is described by SCHOLZ using the model of a study by Judith ANDERSON from the Association of Flight Attendants, who had evaluated FAA databases according to Fume Events: 3000 incidents. However, the agency had only reported 18 of these incidents to the US Congress.

Similarly here in Germany - as we have described several times here in the Aerotoxic Logbook using the keyword, e.g. Fume Event (Screen: see right navigation bar; Smartphone: right at the end below).