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Susan Michaelis 2013.jpeg

The GCAQE Head of Research is Dr. Susan Michaelis

The GCAQE and its member unions have played a key role in many different key research projects, standards and regulatory affairs since our creation in 2006. Projects ranging from the EU CEN process, GCARS, ongoing work to develop a Blood Test to confirm exposure and time of exposure to the synthetic jet engine oil ingredient TCP, to research looking at under reporting of fume events, how engine seals leak oil and the short and long term health effects of exposure to contaminated air.

Latest Papers


Burdon, J., Budnik, L.T., Baur, X. et al. Health consequences of exposure to aircraft contaminated air and fume events: a narrative review and medical protocol for the investigation of exposed aircrew and passengers. Environ Health 22, 43 (2023).


Medical Protocol - 156 page Supplement



Heutelbeck et al.
On the need for a standardized human biomonitoring protocol for in flight incidents (called “fume events”). Journal health & pollution; 

2nd International DiMoPEx Conference on “Pollution in living and working environments and health”



Howard CV, Johnson DW, Morton J, Michaelis S, Supplee D, et al. (2018)

Is a Cumulative Exposure to a Background Aerosol of Nanoparticles Part of the Causal Mechanism of Aerotoxic Syndrome? 

J Nanomed Nanosci: JNAN-139. DOI: 10.29011/JNAN-139. 100039




C V Howard, S Michaelis, A Watterson.
The Aetiology of ‘Aerotoxic Syndrome’- A Toxico-Pathological Viewpoint. Open Acc J of Toxicol. 2017;1(5): 555575.

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.


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