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When the air you breathe on an aircraft is contaminated with jet engine oils, you will be exposed to hundreds of different chemicals including carcinogenic and neurotoxic compounds such as organophosphates.


These exposures have caused pilots and flight attendants to be impaired and even incapacitated in flight and passengers to experience long-term ill health. 


Aircraft currently have no form of detection system to warn when these events occur and airlines do not inform passengers when they have been exposed.

Tristan Loraine is a former British Airways Captain - ill health retired as a consequence of repeated exposure to contaminated air on the aircraft he flew. He is a former National Executive Council and Health and Safety representative for the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA). He initiated the 2005 BALPA conference on the issue of contaminated air on aircraft and was a co-chairman of the Global Cabin Air Quality Executive (GCAQE) from its inception in 2006 until 2016. 


Tristan has investigated the issue for over 15 years. He initiated the ongoing University of Washington research project to develop a blood test to prove exposure to the toxic aryl phosphates present in synthetic jet engine oils. He has extensively briefed scientists, regulators, airlines, aerospace companies, unions and politicians on the contaminated air issue.


In 2015, Tristan was awarded, by the British people, a British Citizen Award for Services to Industry (BCAi) for his work on this issue to date.


Tristan has given interviews to CNN, BBC, RT, Al Jazeera, ITV, BBC Panorama, 60 Minutes and numerous other press and media organisations over the last 15 years and is seen as a leading expert on the subject.


Despite his and the efforts of others, the aerospace industry mostly remains in a position of denial and inaction. Passengers continue to face the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals on aircraft and are never told when they have been exposed, chemicals clearly stated as being a risk to the unborn. Although crews have been incapacitated and impaired from exposure to contaminated air, flight safety continues to be compromised as aircraft still have no form of contaminated air detection systems despite leading air accident investigation teams recommending they be fitted. 


An educational brochure explaining the issue of contaminated air can be downloaded here.


RT: Going Underground


BBC News - Eve Groves - 2022

60 Minutes Australia: Extended Interview

BBC South Today

A Dark Reflection - What do the public think?

Airbus' Position 2014

Tristan Loraine receives a British Citizen Award 2015


British Airways has been accused of downplaying an incident that left 25 cabin crew in hospital after toxic fumes leaked into the cabin of a San Francisco-bound flight. The plane was forced to divert to Calgary after the pilot told air traffic control that “toxic gas-type fumes” had filled the cabin - a recording of the conversation has been released and can be heard below. The union Unite, which represents more than 20,000 cabin crew, said that British Airways called the incident an “odour event”, misrepresenting, it said, the seriousness of the situation.

I have never been a great airplane passenger. I prefer to be on the ground. Now that I have learned about Aerotoxic Syndrome, a heath issue not in the public domain, I have a new concern. In a pattern strongly reminiscent of how “Big Tobacco” and “Big Oil” have used their power and influence to keep a story under the radar, the problems with the air breathed onboard airplanes is still not well-known. This is despite a 2013 broadcast feature on 60 Minutes called, “The Airline Industry’s Darkest Secret.”

American Airlines Flight 109, traveling to Los Angeles from London, was more than two hours into its journey and close to Keflavik, Iceland, when several passengers and crew members suddenly and mysteriously became ill. News reports of the American Airlines flight fit “a classic pattern” suggesting contamination by engine oil, said Susan Michaelis, head of research at the Global Cabin Air Quality Executive, a group representing aviation industry workers. Low-level contamination of cabin air by oil “happens on all flights,” Ms. Michaelis said, but in most cases it is not detected by people on board.

A union representing cabin crew has demanded an immediate public inquiry into the rise in ‘aerotoxic syndrome’ as a result of contaminated air on board planes. The news comes after it was revealed two American Airlines jets were grounded in as many days after passengers and crew passed out on board.

Coroner urges action to prevent deaths after warning toxic fumes in cabin air pose a health risk to frequent fliers and aircrew. Toxic fumes in cabin air pose a health risk to frequent fliers and aircrew, a coroner has said in a landmark report.

Two weeks ago Captain Tristan Loraine, a former British Airways pilot who retired on medical grounds in 2006, sat at his computer to type the email he had been hoping to send for years. He and fellow medically-retired air crew he had spent the past few years trying to expose what they believe is one of the great ­global scandals of our times: that the air on passenger jets is not always safe.

Poisons in the air pumped into plane cabins and cockpits may be linked to brain damage. Scientists say that chemicals in contaminated air are connected to health problems being experienced by pilots. Cabin crew have long blamed exposure to jet engine fumes for memory loss, tremors, lethargy and other symptoms of so-called aerotoxic syndrome.

A former pilot is campaigning to get the airline industry to believe that there is a health risk for passengers and flight crew from fumes when air is pumped into the plane during a high pressure oil leak in the engine.

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