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 (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:  

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 ( - German) and documents what is happening in this area.  Or, what is not happening. And why not. This German language blog ( is now also available in English and can be accessed directly via this permalink: And you should also have a look at - an "ABC" under permanent construction.

The information we collect in German is translated by Bearnairdine BEAUMONT who operates the network  and the 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).

November 2018

Once again we received a not very enlightning answer from the BFU. But that is obviously not what this authority is about.

On August 13th of this year, we wanted to find out why the co-pilot of the Germanwings aircraft, which had apparently been involved in a severe fume event on December 19th, 2010 while in the landing phase to Cologne-Bonn Airport (view, was not allowed to see a medical report  about his state of health, which was made a whole year later. After this incident, the co-pilot was unfit to fly for over six months,  the captain was able to return to flying just four days later. A typical situation, showing how people’s bodies with their genetic pre-/dispositions metabolize or detox foreign substances differently.

The first answer referred to data protection reason:  because of the need to guarantee the protection of sensitive security information in accordance with Art. 14 of Regulation (EU) 996/2010. Not necessarily comprehensible when someone wants to know the medical results of his own state of health.

Furthermore, we received the answer (which we could not really understand, which is why we repeated the question - in the mean time twice -): That the expert opinion evaluated and compared the facts which are interwoven due to the captain and the co-pilot having experienced the same event. The listing of the clinical data of two people in one medical report does not make sense to us. For data protection reasons, one could black out all the information that the other should not see, which is a common procedure.

For this reason we asked again why this did not happen. And also, if we were to understand the BFU's statement, that the expert opinion considers both the captain and the co-pilot in terms of content at the same time and ‚interwoven’, due to experiencing the same event in such a way,  that the clinical data of both were continuously compared and intertwined? And if that was the case, why was that done? We documented these questions on November 7th.

We have received an answer to that, which we summarize here. We would like to spare our readers’ the trouble of trying to figure out the somewhat cumbersome answers.

The BFU press office answered our question no. 1, whether we were to understand the first answer (that the report considers both pilots together), in such a way that all clinical data are continuously interwoven with each other, with:

Instead of answering yes or no (for clarity), they convolute a series of 143 words and numbers to - 853. „Yes“ would have meant 2, „No“  would have been 4 characters. And the original explanatory phrase also reappears in the bundle, to which we had requested an answer for reasons of clarity (see above).

According to the BFU, our question as to whether this was intentionally done and/or whether it was customary for the BFU to do so, was unnecessary, as it was answered in the set of explanatory 143 words.

However (answer to our questions 5 and 6), in such cases the persons concerned can view a draft of the final report, which they could comment on.

‚Report’ however does not mean that it includes the medical opinion, only the final report of the investigation of the "event" in question. So, that what is not (or should not be) included in the final report must not be revealed to those affected. At any rate, the BFU's wording on this point is crystal clear.

7th November 2018

The BFU has answered - instead of answers: 2 complaints

We had sent several queries to the BFU with entry date 13th August. We quoted from the first answer the BFU gave us, which we wanted to have clarified. These were our questions, but instead of clear answers to our questions, the BFU Press Office complains.

Allegation no.1:

That we had published their answers, which could only be seen as factual information, as quotations.

You have to know that press offices are usually dissatisfied with the media and journalists, if they either don't write what the Press Office would like them to write, or if there is a critical follow-up. In this respect, the BFU's complaint is nothing unusual.

However, there is no legal entitlement for an authority not to publish its answers as quotes. Nevertheless, they are obliged to provide information.

It is common practice that the media like to quote such answers, or parts of them. And has its reasons to remain as close as possible to what an authority answers. And also not to have to expose oneself to the accusation that one has not correctly reproduced the information. The fact that one or the other authority tries to enforce its own modalities of reproduction is explained by the fact that authorities are basically monopolies. And they forget that they are - actually - service providers: for people, including the media. But this obviously does not go well with the BFU's official culture.

Allegation no.2:

That we published only a part of their last answer, omitting the decisive part.

Presumably, (but we don't yet know exactly why we have to ask again to gain clarity), we didn't clearly understand one of their phrases and therefore verified it beforehand because, from our point of view, it was rather "nebulous",  at least not to be understood clearly, namely: That the medical opinion in question, which the pilot in question is not allowed to see, is obviously constantly mixed with the clinical information of both pilots, i.e. that of the captain and the co-pilot. And that is why the co-pilot - for data protection reasons so to speak - cannot find out what concerns him alone.

That's why we asked again today:

1.       Does your reference to the fact that the medical report considers both the pilot and the co-pilot in terms of content and inseparably with the view to the shared event perhaps mean, that the medical report is written linguistically in such a way that the clinical data of both pilots are continuously compared and interwoven with each other?

2.        Would it have been possible for the co-pilot to have (or be allowed to) learn about his own data by anonymizing the data of his colleague.

3.       If the latter would not have been possible: Was this deliberately arranged in such a way that neither pilot could (or was allowed to) learn anything about the clinical results?

4.       If option no.3 does not apply: Is it customary for the BFU, when commissioning medical reports in such cases, to ensure that patients are not allowed to know anything about their state of health?

5.       If it is not customary at BFU for patients not to have access to their personal medical findings: Why, then, was it not ensured in this specific case that those affected were allowed to know what the Air Force's Aeromedical Institute had determined about their physical condition?

6.       Can the BFU imagine that in such cases, those affected might have a legitimate interest in finding out exactly what the medical results are and how they came about methodically - irrespective of the information mentioned in the final report starting on page 30?

And we concluded, that we did not consider the Press Office's announcement that its complaints no.1 and no.2 were no basis for further cooperation or exchange with us, as a threat.

Perhaps the press office of the BFU meant it as such. But authorities are basically obliged to provide information. And if they think that as a monopoly they can decide for themselves who they want to give information to and  who they don't want to give it to, then information can quite easily be forced through an administrative court. But it will probably not (have to) come to that.

We will continue to report.