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 since our creation in 2006. Projects ranging from the 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.
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 https://gavinpublishers.com/admin/assets/articles_pdf/1519819962new_article_pdf2072382190.pdf
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.
WHAT CAN BE DONE IF YOU SUSPECT EXPOSURE TO CONTAMINATED AIR AND ADVERSE EFFECTS OR YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT…
1. HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS GUIDE:
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.
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:
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: