Health effects from exposure to contaminated air may vary from short term effects to long lasting chronic effects.
Doctors can refer to the Health Care Providers Guide below and may rely on traditional diagnoses such as Reactive Airways Disease, migraine headaches, or toxic encephalopathy. Alternatively, doctors may simply list symptoms such as deficits in attention, memory, and information processing, or difficulties with balance, for example. Finally some doctors may diagnose a crewmember with “inhalation injury” or “neurological injury from chemical exposure at work.”
Some have proposed the term “Aerotoxic Syndrome” to describe the symptoms that affected crewmembers and passengers report after exposure, although this is not yet a universally accepted term.
WHAT CAN BE DONE IF YOU SUSPECT EXPOSURE TO CONTAMINATED AIR AND ADVERSE EFFECTS OR YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT…
1. HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS GUIDE:
Obtain a copy of the FAA funded Health Care providers Guide, by clicking the following links for the quick-reference Health Care Providers’ Guide and the Full Version.
Ensure you take these to all medical appointments.
2. TCP BLOOD TEST – BLOOD STORED LOCALLY:
As the University of Washington is not accepting further blood samples you may choose to get your blood stored locally in your country until the test is fully developed.
Complete instructions on how to do this are posted here.
April 2015 – To donate funding to the University of Washington research please contact the GCAQE.
3. NEUROTOXICITY BLOOD TEST:
Duke University – Blood test for markers of damage to the central nervous system/brain – not specific to TCP. Blood is shipped to USA. There is a fee attached to this test. For further details click here.
Toxic Free Airlines – Have you experienced ill health as a result of flying as a passenger or crew member? Click this link
4. RESPIRATORY TESTS:
A range of suggested respiratory tests can be found in 2005 Burdon and Glanville published paper & Burdon J – Lung injury following hydrcarbon inhalation in aircrew – 2012
Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry article provided by JBPC (www.amsi.ge/jbpc)
5. NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS OF AUTONOMIC FUNCTION:
Information can be seen here.
6. NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS:
The following published papers provide an indepth review of aircrew neuropsychological assessments:
7. OCCUPATIONAL PHYSICIAN ASSESSMENT:
It is recommended you consult with an occupational physician after an exposure. For further information please review the paper:
Dr. Andrew Harper – A survey of health effects inaircrew exposed to airborne contaminants – 2005
(courtesy of J Occup Health Safety – Aust NZ)
8. GENERAL PHYSICIAN ASSESSMENT:
Somers M – Aircrew exposed to fumes on the BAe 146: an assessment of symptoms – 2005 (Courtesy of J Occup Health Safety – Aust NZ)
Keep a calendar with a record of any symptoms, sick days, medical visits, or other important information including the aircraft registration, flight number, date and time, and keep records of documentation.
10. OTHER DATA:
Also bring your doctor a copy of the Safety Data Sheet for the product you were likely exposed to, the incident report that you filed with your airline, and your symptom calendar.
A review of the following published papers may also be of interest:
Burdon J – The “Aerotoxic Syndrome” — real condition or flight of fancy? – 2012 (Courtesy of Australian & New Zealand Journal of Health, Safety and Environment)
S Michaelis – Health and Flight Safety Implications from Exposure to Contaminated Air in Aircraft – PhD conclusions – 2010
S Mackenzie Ross, A Harper, J Burdon – Ill Health Following Exposure to Contaminated Aircraft Air: Psychosomatic Disorder or Neurological Injury – 2006 (Courtesy of J Occup Health Safety – Aust NZ)
Prof Abou-Donia – Organophosphorus ester-induced chronic neurotoxicity – 2005 (Courtesy of J Occup Health Safety – Aust NZ)
S Michaelis. A Survey of health Symptoms in BALPA Boing 757 Pilots – BALPA 757 SURVEY p253-262 – 2003
L. Cox, S. Michaelis – A Survey of Health Symptoms in BAe 146 Aircrew – 2002 (Courtesy of J Occup Health Safety – Aust NZ)
Prof. C.Winder et al. – Aerotoxic syndrome: a descriptive epidemiological survey of aircrew exposed to incabin airborne contaminants – 2002 (Courtesy of J Occup Health Safety – Aust NZ)
Winder & Balouet – Aircrew Exposure to Chemicals in Aircraft: Symptoms of Irritation and Toxicity – 2001 (Courtesy of J Occup Health Safety – Aust NZ)
Additional data on health issues related to contaminated air exposure can be found at: