Toxins found in airliner air systems can be linked to the neurological
symptoms suffered by some pilots, according to experts. Questions have
also been raised whether the toxic fumes cause damage to passengers’
For years pilots and cabin crew have blamed their long-term exposure
to jet engine fumes for symptoms such as memory loss and muscle spasms.
Now neurophysiologist Peter Julu, a consultant neurophysiologist at the
Breakspear Clinic in Hertfordshire and Royal London Hospital, says the
symptoms can only be explained by exposure to onboard organophosphates,
BBC News website reported on Friday.
But aircraft makers BAE and Boeing say they meet health and safety
standards. It is estimated that about one in 2,000 flights have the
toxins present in their air supplies. As many as 200,000 British
travellers could be exposed every year.
A former airline captain from Fenny Compton has set up an
organisation to warn people of the danger of noxious fumes on flights.
John Hoyte retired from a 16-year flying career in 2005, having suffered
various neurological problems, fatigue, exhaustion, slurred speech and a
feeling of intoxication for much of this time, reports the Warwick
“Not many people realise that the air inside an aircraft is taken
from the jet engine, but when the engine goes wrong fumes can get into
the air,” said Hoyte. “About 196,000 UK passengers a year are being
exposed but neither they nor their GPs know about this serious issue.”
Helen Muir, of Cranfield University, who has been researching fume
events since 2008, said the link was not yet proven. AGENCIES