The Aviation industry’s dark and deadly secret has been concealed from their passengers and crew members for over six decades. But that isn’t stopping one former crew member from speaking out!
The Airlines Toxic Secret, Crew Members Are Dying to Tell You
On Valentine’s Day 1993, I embarked on a flight from London Heathrow to Bahrain to become a Cabin crew Member for Gulf Air, based in Manama.
This flight would change my life forever, but not in the way I had envisioned.
In 1995, I was grounded due to ill health, and my flying license revoked by the airline.
But I did not know the reason why?
This is my story, in my search of the answer and how I would be become a part of exposing, The Aviation industry’s dark and deadly secret, that has been concealed from their passengers and crew members for over six decades. ‘Aerotoxic Syndrome’.
In order to join an airline you have to be 100% fit, physically, mentally and psychologically, a lot of tests are performed to make sure you are up to the standard. Airlines are big on medicals. If you get through this, you begin your SEP’s (safety and emergency procedures). The airlines are seemingly big on these too.
Passengers Worry About Pesticides Being Sprayed on Planes!
You will be specially trained in Aircraft Evacuation, Ditching (landing on water), Decompression, Fire Fighting, Passenger Management, Security Related Issues, Extraordinary Situations, First Aid and Hi jacking. Survival, sea and land. Catering, beverages, duty free sales and taking care of the flight deck crew, V.I.P’s/C.I.P’s. Whilst in training, I watched, a lot of candidates fail. Being a Middle Eastern carrier, I was also required to handle falcons. I qualified for Boeing767/LockheedL1011. March 1993 I received my wings and I was licenced to fly.
I had, always wanted to fly. As a child, I was fascinated with the lives of Aviatrix’s, Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson. These women were adventurers and breaking all the moulds of the traditional roles for women. I absolutely loved my life as an air stewardess. I was travelling the world, I felt so blessed to be able to visit and experience so many amazing countries and their cultures. I was meeting some truly wonderful people, whom since have become lifelong friends. And dating a lovely captain and were very much in love. I was quickly promoted, flying first class/royal flights all the time. Six months into flying, mostly Med/long-haul. I started to experience a change in my former excellent state of health. Mostly, gastric and flu like symptoms to start with. I was feeling jet lagged all the time. During lots of my flights, I and my fellow crew members would notice that at times, the cabin would become hazy or really smoky and a very strong pungent smell would emerge into the cabins. We put this down to passenger’s smelly socks because, that is what it smelt like, and too many people smoking a lot of cigarettes! Smoking was not banned yet.
I had started to notice a pattern that every time this strange phenomena occurred. My co-ordination was affected, my reflexes were slow. I would cough, and my throat would be sore and dry. I would become disorientated, my speech would slur, and I’d feel freezing cold. My body would uncontrollably jerk, sometimes spilling food and drink on my passengers. My mood and demeanour would change. I would experience vaginal bleeding, but my menses were not due. And this was nearly black in colour.
On my rest periods, I would pass out for hours, sometimes days. I was found on beaches late at night, on my sunbed, in hotels rooms, oversleeping my check out times. My captain, went on a two day lay over, leaving me asleep, in bed. On his return, I was still in the same position, my hand flopped over the duvet where I had waved him farewell. He thought I was dead. He remarked ‘it was like you were in a Coma’.
Repeatedly, reporting my symptoms and strange occurrences to the doctors at Gulf Air Clinic, and doctors down route. They were unable diagnose my maladies, repeatedly prescribing me with Iron supplements. My post box was full of letters of complaints and fines for over sleeping and missing my fights. As far as Gulf Air was concerned I was ‘Fit to fly’.
My symptoms would seem to disappear, and I would feel really good again, especially on long rest periods, so I did not expect what happened next. Late 1994, whilst shopping in Nairobi. I started to haemorrhage. I was flown back to base. At the hospital, the doctors performed an emergency operation, of which they had great difficulty in getting me to regain consciousness after the anaesthetic. In the recovery room, I was informed that I had lost a child. I was devastated. This was my first, I lost my second child two years later.
I am now unable to have children due the reproductive damage caused through these strange events, I had experienced, which are now known as ‘Fume Events.’ The air you are breathing whilst inflight, is coming directly from the jet engines.
A ‘Fume Event’ occurs when ‘Bleed Air’ used for cabin pressurization and air conditioning is contaminated by chemicals such as jet fuel, engine oil, hydraulic fluid, de-icing fluid and other potentially hazardous chemicals. The only aircraft that does not operate on this ‘bleed air system’ is the Dreamliner Boeing 787/Airbus A350.
If the proper maintenance is not performed on the Aircraft engines, particularly with the engine seals, which are extremely fragile. The seals will perish over time, causing the toxic chemicals to seep into the engine, and through to the cabin air that you are breathing. It is well known in the industry, that maintenance schedules go over time. Alright with a car, but certainly not with an aircraft!
This is when ‘Fume events’ will become more frequent on these particular aircrafts.
Leaky seals = ‘Fume events’.
If the engineer thinks the engine oil looks low, he will just top it up. We were always going TEC (grounding due to technical problems, mostly engine) on route, especially on the Boeing 767. The Lockheed L1011’s, I flew on were really old. They were being retired and replaced by Airbus A320’s.
Jet engines suck in all kinds of nasty stuff and when cleaned, you have the residues of all that too. As engines reach very high temperatures, this will create deadly toxic cocktails. Engine oil is an irritant and contains neurotoxic chemicals such as Tricresyl phosphate. TCOP’s, organophosphates. These are designed to kill and the effects on your central nervous system are irrevocable.
Organophosphates (OPs), were developed as chemical warfare agents because of their action in inhibiting blood cholinesterase activity, this means that in effect they can cause continual and uncontrolled stimulation of organs and muscles. Think of Sarin, a known Nerve agent. Gulf War syndrome, 911 syndrome, sheep dippers flu. Each and every flight is a risk! Every breath you take is a dose!
Having unknowingly been ‘Intoxicated by Contaminated Cabin Air’ from ‘Multiple Fume events’, whilst in service to Gulf Air. I was grounded in 1995, and forced to resign, thus the airline revoking my flying license. Gulf Air could not give me any answers, as to why my health had declined so much, or why I was unable to perform my duties or why I had become a liability to the company. And have declined to respond, when since approached about this Issue.
I returned to the UK a former shadow of myself. Resting in Norfolk for several months. It was an enormous culture shock to be back in the UK. I relocated to London, to be able to be with my captain who was still flying. I would find employment, but I was constantly getting fired. My symptoms did not subside. They got worse. I ended my relationship with my captain. It hurt him terribly, but I felt he deserved to have the family he wanted and live a good life. I have not had a relationship of that nature ever since.
I saw so many doctors, and they just kept telling I was depressed, with referrals to psychologists who would prescribe anti-depressants, pain killers and steroids, which I refused to take. One actually stated ‘that everything I had described to him, was all in my head, I had never really flown, this was just a case of unfulfilled expectations, and I should settle down get married and have some children!’
In 1999 I was diagnosed me with M.E. This for me, I feel is a false diagnosis, although a lot of the symptoms with ‘Aerotoxic Syndrome’ are similar.
Countless crew members and passengers could be being misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s, M.S. M.E, and depression. Etc. I researched M.E and as a natural/beauty therapist, everything else I could study, learn, or qualify in.
Prior to joining Gulf Air, I was a designer and manager of three exclusive natural health and beauty spas in London/Birmingham and Brighton. With hobbies such as horse-riding, dancing, running, sailing and flying. I searched for years, for the truth about what had happened to me.
In 2007 I received a newspaper article, the headline read ‘Aerotoxic syndrome’. I knew instinctively, that I had finally found the reason for my ill health. And the explanation of what I had experienced with all the cabin hazes, in flight. All my symptoms matched the information in this article.
During my service to Gulf Air. I had not, nor had, any of the crew members I flew with, ever heard of a ‘Fume Event’. These were never discussed in the numerous safety and emergency training sessions. None of the ‘Fume events’, I encountered were ever recorded or reported.
I felt so betrayed and sppalled by the industry, I had represented and felt so proud to be a part of. For keeping this heinous secret, under cover for decades. It is hard to understand why a corporation, would knowingly put the people’s lives that serve them and support them in jeopardy.
If you smoke a cigarette whilst on board on aircraft, you are breaking the law. Whilst in service with Gulf Air, I was highly trained for the safety and wellbeing of my passengers, in my opinion. This is an International Breach of the Health and Safety guides, presented by the Aviation Industry.
Making contact with the chairman of www.aerotoxic.org in 2008 shortly after reading the article, I linked with the campaign on Myspace, as ‘The Aerotoxic Angel.’ Being in touch with other crew members also affected. I now had access to information previously unknown to me. I attended the Inhalable Toxic Chemicals on Board Aircraft (ITCOBA) Conference at Cranfield University. 2008.
Several, GCAQE (Global Cabin Air Quality Executive) meetings in London. To help with my own research. I met and discussed this issue with professors, doctors, and members of Parliament, Union reps, lawyers, affected pilots and crew members, etc. Including, investigative journalist/aviation specialist and director, Tim Van Beveren, with whom I spent many years, in the making and filming as the British protagonist affected by ‘Aerotoxic syndrome’. In the award winning, independently made documentary film. ‘Unfiltered Breathed In’ The Truth about Aerotoxic Syndrome. www.unfilteredbreathedin.com
This is the most comprehensive work I have seen so far, on this extremely controversial issue and will leave the viewer, in no doubt about, what exactly is going on in the aviation and related industries. And the wall of denial surrounding this topic. Technical information, evidence, interviews and research (peer reviewed) for the documentary are available to view at bleedfree.eu.
I did not find this an easy task, travelling, flying, eating hotel foods, EMF, Wi-Fi, perfumes etc.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the premier in Berlin, for ‘Unfiltered Breathed In’. July 2015. After embarking on two flights to get there. Due to ill health on arrival. I had to return home, via two more flights. I still bleed outside of my menstrual cycle.
I have not flown since.
During the filming, of the documentary 2013. I had the pleasure to meet, Mohamed B. Abou-Donia, Ph.D. Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University Medical Centre. USA. Whom is known for his eminent work with ‘Gulf War Syndrome’
He kindly offered to test my blood serum. Results confirmed that I had been exposed to Neurotoxic Chemicals/Organophosphates, and that Chemical-Induced Nervous System Injury was present. (Brain Damage). It was a strange double sided moment. It confirmed my suspicions were correct. I was not insane, or depressed or imagining my symptoms, as I had been told by so many doctors. I felt a sensation of relief, tinged with great despair.
The National Health Service here in the UK refuses to recognise these results. Or any other results I present to them. I asked to be referred to a specialist for Organophosphate/Pesticide /chemical poisoning. They do not have one.
Any funding I have applied for, to help with private treatments, from my local health boards has been denied, as they do not recognise Aerotoxic/Chemical poisoning. Hounding my local MP’s and asking them to write on my behalf, and to also ask the Department of Transport here In the UK, for their views on this issue. The funding was once again denied. Followed with a very nice letter, from Parliament, informing me that there is ‘not a problem with contaminated Cabin air’. And that they too, ‘do not recognise Aerotoxic syndrome’. Without recognition from medical boards or the governments.
Anyone affected by Aerotoxic syndrome, will find it very difficult to be classed as medically retired. Private testing, treatments etc. Will not be taken into consideration.
Not willing to accept this, I researched environmental testing online and found that Biolab Medical Unit in London. www.biolab.co.uk Have a Toxic Non- Metal Chemical profile. GPL-TOX Bio markers, that can determine toxic levels stored in the body.
I ordered the test and waited for the results which would also be sent to my general practitioner. This is a urine test, on researching the results, with the help of Jean-Christophe Balouet PHD. I was able to identify that every single toxic compound on the report is found in Aviation Jet engine fuel/De-icers, additives.
Shockingly, those listed in the GPL-TOX are only a small percentage of the full spectrum of what you can be exposed to. Hence the chemical cocktails I mention earlier. Having many years’ experience as a bio practitioner /media natural makeup artist. I cannot conclude that I would have been exposed to these toxins anywhere else. I discussed the results with Biolab www.biolab.co.uk and Great Plains, www.greatplainslaboratory.com and they are now able to offer a TCP test marker along with the Organic Acid test, the GPL-TOX and a heavy metals test, to help in the research of ‘Fume events’.
Excellent news, but these bio markers are again, not verified or recognised by the medical bodies. None the less I am now going to have the other tests done and see what shows up. We have been waiting for a recognised TCOP marker, for years. Dee Passon, has posted these tests via her Facebook page www.toxicfreeairlines.com
Over these past years I have accrued many letters from various bodies. All unwilling to answer my questions, or in complete denial of this issue and declining any requests for help. I call it the FOAD file.
Having approached several solicitors on this issue for compensation advice. One offered to look at my file. Disappeared with all my documents, flying licence, passport etc. When I reported this to the police, they told me there was nothing I could do.
Luckily I have photocopies. I informed all the relevant authorities. To date, no compensation to any persons, injured by ‘Aerotoxic /Chemical poisoning’, despite the mounting evidence, autopsy reports etc. Has been publically awarded.
In my years of campaigning, my computer has been hacked. Myspace was wiped. Campaign Captain Len Lawrence, was sectioned and had his Assets stripped for blowing the whistle on ‘Aerotoxic Syndrome’. Doctors and professors who are helping with this Issue, have had funding cuts, Labs are being shut down.
So one must assume, we are pressing the right buttons and ringing the right bells.
Crew members are flying scared. They are being told that they are NOT in danger, by their employees. This is not the truth!
Without filters or sensors, you do not know what is coming into the aircraft cabin air unchecked. Low level exposures are far more harmful than great big doses, neither will do you any good. The damage to your body will be according to how well your detoxification system works, your metabolism and DNA.
The airlines/manufacturers/governments and the medical bodies, are in complete denial about this issue. And they will not assist or support affected crew members or passengers. Airline unions worldwide are struggling with the issue. Each and every time you board a flight, for business or pleasure purposes, your health and your life is being put at risk. Crew members, frequent flyers, pregnant women, children, babies, pensioners, and those in ill health already, are particularly at high risk. In the ‘Pre-flight Safety and Emergency procedures’. On-board your next flight. You will not be briefed about ‘Fume events’, or told what to do if one occurs on your flight.
My body and life has been so devastated by the effects of ‘Aerotoxic/Chemical Injury’ I am only now, starting to find out the true damage, and effects of ‘Aerotoxic syndrome’. 21 years later, I still present a volley of persistent debilitating and degenerative symptoms. I am in a state of chronic ill health. I still cannot get a confirmed medical diagnosis for Aerotoxic Injury/Chemical poisoning, or any sense out of the medical profession or politicians.
My local GP does support me in my natural approach to my overloaded toxic body. Over the years I have tried many therapies and remedies in hope of recovery. Some have helped.
I only eat organic foods/wholefood. Being, multi-chemical sensitive, EMF/EMR electro-sensitive, I live a low tech and natural life. I react badly to Wi-Fi (Why Fry) and will not carry a live mobile phone and keep it switched off, when not in use. My life is isolated and restricted by my health and mobility issues. I am mostly housebound and unable to work, fulltime as I do not function well in mainstream environments.
Forced now, to live on a state sickness benefit, having exhausted all my assets. I am no longer a home owner. A common theme with long term illness. But with the advancements in science/technology and public awareness there is hope.
I dedicate my time, to campaigning, researching for an effective antidote and girlguiding. Being a brown owl, I have made a silent promise to my brownies, who are my sanity, that if they dream of being an ‘Air hostess’, when they grow up.
Myself and all the wonderful campaigners are doing all we can, to make this a safe reality. I fear for their safety, such precious cargo, when they excitedly tell me they will be flying to their summer holiday destination.
‘Aerotoxic Syndrome’ is a silent, dark, deleterious invader that will systematically destroy your body, mind, spirit and every aspect of your life.
One can only imagine, in all this time passed, how many souls lives have been wrecked. Or suffered the most fatal of consequence’s, as in the tragic and unnecessary deaths of Captain Richard Westgate in 2012, cabin crew, Matt Bass. 2014. and Captain David Hill. 2016, whom took his own life, just before last Christmas, sending a shockwave out into the aerotoxic community.
On writing this I have been informed of yet another crew member’s death, leaving her two young children without a mother. May they rest in Peace.
In the knowledge, we are working diligently to bring this ‘Miscarriage of justice Into the Light’.
As a subscriber of GreenMedInfo, I felt compelled to contact Sayer Ji and share my findings with him in order to network this information, through every available media channel.
‘Fume events’ are now making the world news headlines. Over 1300,’Fume events’ happen every day, those that are reported.
Please join us, in the campaign to Demand that the Airline Industry, finally take responsibility for ‘Aerotoxic/Chemical Injury’. This Health and Safety breech is no longer tolerable and must be addressed. It is High time that people’s lives become more important than profit!
Please educate yourself about ‘Aerotoxic syndrome’ and how to protect yourself whilst, flying. To protect yourself as best as you can and your loved ones, in a ‘Fume Event’.
I highly recommend wearing a disposable FFP3 Mask. On Every flight you board. Unless you’re flying on the Boeing 787.
Prior to boarding the aircraft, record the Aircraft Tail number, take a picture with your phone. Don your mask, as soon as you are settled and seated for your flight, before the engines start and the aircraft starts to taxi on the run ways. Remove your mask when you disembark at your destination.
Masks are available in two sizes small for children and large for adult. www.angelfleet.net. These will provide you with some protection against any Contaminants that may be entering the Cabin air. For up to eight hours.
It has been said that the hot water used on board the aircraft, could also be contaminated. I personally would refrain from the hot water beverages served on board the flight. Drinking bottled water. Download International’ Fume reporting forms’, before you fly @ www.toxicfreeairlines.com (Facebook link)
If you are in a ‘Fume Event’:
- Try to stay calm.
- Cover your body as best as you can!
- Breathe slowly.
- Do not remove your mask.
- Your skin, eyes and hair will absorb the molecules.
- When you arrive at your accommodation wash your hair and body gently, in Luke warm water, not hot!
- Get your clothes laundered.
- Report to the local and national press. Raise the alarm! Inform the Airline. Fill out your fume event report forms.
- Call a doctor if you feel unwell.
- Request blood and urine samples be taken.
- Biolab tests can be pre ordered. www.biolab.co.uk
I also urge you, to put pressure on the airlines/regulators, by contacting your political representatives to protect your health and safety.
Here is a Template;
Dear [YOUR REPRESENTATIVE’S NAME],
Toxic Air in Passenger Aircraft
It has recently come to my attention that the Cabin Air in passenger Jet Airliners, can become contaminated by Toxic oil fumes from a known design flaw in Jet Engines.
Toxic oil fumes can cause Ill health both in Aircrew and Passengers – this has been known since 1999 as Aerotoxic Syndrome and was first identified by scientists from the US, France and Australia.
Using the Health and Safety precautionary principle, I would be grateful if you would demand that
The Airlines adopt the known solutions for this problem. For example;
Equipped all aircraft fleets with filters, as soon as possible.
Implement permanent examination of the quality of cabin air through installing sensors.
Research and development of neurotoxically harmless oils.
Abandonment of ‘bleed air’ technology for cabin pressure and cabin air systems on passenger aircrafts, and use the Ram air system. Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.
To protect vulnerable Crew and passengers.
(Feel free to edit this).
*Article originally appeared at Green Med Info.
Erin Elizabeth is a long time activist with a passion for the healing arts, working in that arena for a quarter century. Her site HealthNutNews.com is less than 2 years old but has already cracked the top 20 Natural Health sites worldwide. She is an author, public speaker, and has recently done some TV and film programs for some of her original work which have attracted international media coverage. You can get Erin’s free e-book here and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame vaccine injuries, Lyme disease, significant weight gain, and more. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.