There has been a major development in the growing movement to raise awareness about the dangers of contaminated cabin air. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal has proposed new legislation to protect pilots, flight attendants, and passengers from this completely preventable public health problem.
Senator Richard Blumenthal proposed new legislation to be added to the ever expanding FAA Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act in an effort to protect airline travelers in his amendment titled the Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights. This amendment defines and expands the rights provided to passengers and ensures tougher oversight of the airline industry. The bill proposes to prohibit airlines from forcing passengers to surrender seats involuntarily while limiting the use of police. It requires airlines to refund tickets as well as compensate travelers for excessive delays and cancellations. The goal of the bill is to protect basic human rights on planes with regard to water, food, and restroom access. This new amendment covered the main issue passengers were aware of in aviation such as Denied Boardings and Passenger Removal issues which went viral around the world after the United Airlines incident. However, there were several more serious issues that passengers were not informed or educated about during an airline flight. This is in regards to the long hidden and denied issue of Contaminated Cabin Air as well as the many serious debilitating health issues that prolonged and residual accumulative exposures create in Pilots, Flight Attendants, and Passengers.
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This was the initiating force that finally caused the Senator to press forward on one other additional amendment this week. His final addition is called the Cabin Air Safety Act which was created to ensure safe cabin air during an airline flight for both passengers and crew. This addresses a long known about condition which has secretly plagued the airline industry for over 60 years. The air contamination events onboard the aircraft are known as, “Fume Events” and the health condition they cause is known in Europe as, “Aerotoxic Syndrome” and in America as, “Organophosphate Poisoning” of the Brain, Lungs, Heart and Nervous System. This also creates more severe spin off health conditions such as Encephalitis of the Brain, Reactive Airways Dysfunction of the Lungs, Catecholamine Mediated Myocarditis of the Heart, Central Nervous System damage, MCS Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Esophageal Dysphagia and Basal Cell Carcinoma just to name a few. The symptoms include everything from chronic respiratory distress, neurological impairment which looks much like Parkinson’s where the person has seizures, body tremors, memory loss, confusion, disorientation, mobility problems, cognitive brain impairments, incapacitation, loss of consciousness and in the worse cases life threatening cardiac heart conditions which have resulted in permanent disabilities and eventually death.
Many passengers may feel that “Oh since I only fly once or twice a year then this isn’t about me.” Well, let me tell you why you should care. Many may have wondered about these multiple flights that have crashed over the years. These incidents each caused a total loss of all life on board due to “Pilot Error” or due to a so called “Clinically Depressed Suicidal Pilot” at the controls. As a passenger, you may take a flight, come onboard and have so called, “Air Sickness” and come home with several days of so called, “Jet Lag.” What if none of these things actually really ever existed? What if this was just an over 60-year lie that has been perpetuated by Airline Management, Aviation Lobbyists, Corrupted Union Leaders and Aircraft Manufacturers? Well, that is exactly what many of us have known for the past 60 years but nobody has ever listened until now. These are just signs of what we call, the “Canary in the Cabin.” When an aircraft starts having frequent events on every flight in one or two sections of the aircraft, then a full blown Fume Event is not far behind.
This is why you need to care since your Pilot could become confused and disoriented during flight from visible or invisible fumes. These fumes could cause him to fall unconscious and become fully incapacitated while at the controls taking a total loss of life with all onboard. This is why we need your support and your voice today. Senator Blumenthal has introduced the Cabin Air Safety Act. This was over 7 years after the US Senate passed an amendment by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D- Calif.) on Mar 22, 2010. Senator Feinstein’s amendment required the FAA to conduct a study of air quality in the cabins of US airliners. The amendment was designed to ensure that the FAA has the information it needs to protect the public from harmful toxins in ventilation systems on commercial aircraft. Senator Feinstein’s amendment was included in the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act. It required the FAA to complete a study of cabin air quality within one year. Second, the amendment provided the FAA with authority to mandate that airlines allow air quality monitoring on their aircraft for purposes of the study.
This amendment was necessary because the air in the passenger cabin is a mixture of recirculated cabin air and fresh air that is compressed in the airplane engine. Sometimes the air you breathe on an airplane gets contaminated with engine oils or hydraulic fluids that get heated to very high temperatures, often appearing as a smelly haze or smoke. That haze or smoke that enters the cabin air is a toxic soup and can contain carbon monoxide gas as well as chemicals called “Tricresyl organophosphates (TCPs) that can damage your nervous system, brain, lungs, and heart. It can create severe chronic health complications such as Aerotoxic Syndrome of the brain, Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome of the lungs and Myocarditis of the heart. Exposure to TCPs can initially cause stomach aches, violent regurgitation, burning skin, respiratory distress, muscle weakness, disorientation, dizziness followed by delayed memory loss, body tremors, confusion and many other chronic often permanent incurable symptoms. This is why it has been referred to often as, the “Asbestos of the Airline Industry.”
Exposure to this and other air toxins in cabin air is a serious matter. It has now been over seven years since this amendment. As that time has passed there are now over 250,000 Aerotoxic Syndrome victims and counting worldwide who are either in treatment, disabled or dead, ie: Richard Westgate from fume events. We are now demanding your attention to respond to a call for action to move this from the token research phase. We are requesting your support for a first ever comprehensive Cabin Air Quality Bill for immediate vote and implementation. We would like to thank Senator Blumenthal for including Fume Event Flight Attendant and Pilot Training, New Cockpit Reporting Guidelines and Onboard Carbon Monoxide Chemical Sensor Detectors in the initial draft of his amendment. However, this legislation would also need to minimally include:
1) a re-establishment of pre-deregulation maintenance standards on C-Check, Engine Overhaul and most importantly mandatory Wet Seal Engine replacement required at 5,000 flight hours as it was previously instead of the dangerous toxic 30,000 or more flight hours it is today.
2) require future aircraft models at Boeing and Airbus to return to the clean non-bleed air model technology that is currently being utilized in the Boeing B787 Dreamliner and the new delivery bleed free option of the Airbus A320.
If you have not done so already, then please print, sign and mail or fax the letter from this posting. We need to show our numbers that this issue matters to us. The Aviation Lobby from Airbus and Boeing are making their oppositions heard to the Senator. So we need to have an equally loud voice on this important issue. We all need to show our support the Cabin Air Quality amendment that he has proposed, as well as the need for him to include these other three most important parts of the amendment.
Thank you for your prompt attention and support for this important legislation that affects us all.
Please mail or fax your letter to this address below:
Senator Richard Blumenthal
Transportation Aviation Subcommittee
Cabin Air Quality Amendment
Passenger Bill of Rights
706 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
tel (202) 224-2823
fax (202) 224-9673
Sample Letter here:
Knowledge is Power
*Article originally appeared at Green Med Info.