A Cabin Air Safety Act introduced with assumptions needing testing

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Rep. Garamendi and Sen. Blumenthal Introduce Bill to Protect Airline Passengers and Crew from Toxic Jet Fumes

There are good arguments on both sides of the issue

Before legislate. more study is justified!!!

Should not mandate before facts are clear

It is the job of Members of Congress to represent their citizens and to introduce legislation which addresses their interests. Sen. Blumenthal (CT-Dem) and Rep. Garamendi (CA-Dem) assert that their bill is necessary “to protect airline passengers and crew from the harmful effects of toxic cabin air.” Their statement (repeated below) is a full explanation of the reasons for passage and how enactment would clean aircraft cabin air. The Representative also spoke on the floor of the House about the merits of HR 2208.

 

The assertion that the air is toxic is not new and the analyses of a number of expert authorities do not concur. That collection of information is also displayed in this post.

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WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the bicameral Cabin Air Safety Act (H.R.2208) to protect commercial airline passengers and crew from toxic cabin air. Congressman Garamendi is a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Senator Blumenthal is a senior member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

“All Americans have the right to expect safe, clean air when travelling or reporting to work. I am deeply concerned by the documented cases where pilots, flight attendants, and other airline crewmembers have become sick and even hospitalized from toxic cabin air,” said Congressman Garamendi. “The Cabin Air Safety Act takes commonsense steps to protect airline passengers and crew, including installing carbon monoxide detectors in commercial aircraft. I thank Senator Blumenthal for leading this bill last Congress and look forward to working with him to advance this critical legislation.”

“This legislation would protect the flying public and airline crews by ensuring the cabin air they breathe during flights is safe—free from any hidden and toxic fumes.  Our bill would require the FAA and aircraft manufacturers to stop ignoring this horrific issue – mandating thorough investigation of dangerous cabin air quality reports, proper training and resources for pilots and flight attendants, and the installation of carbon monoxide sensors on commercial flights,” said Blumenthal.

Toxic fume” events occur when air contaminated by engine exhaust, fuel fumes, de-icing fluids, and ozone enters the aircraft cabin through the jet engine intake. Exposure to even low levels of these contaminants can incapacitate passengers and crew, and long-term exposure could lead to serious, debilitating health issues. The Cabin Air Safety Act (H.R.2208) would better protect airline passengers and crew members by:

  • Mandating Training Regarding Toxic Fumes on Aircraft: Require that flight attendants, pilots, aircraft technicians, and first responders receive training on identifying toxic fumes. The training materials will include education on sources and types of fumes, symptoms, appropriate responses, and how to report incidents.
  • Requiring FAA to Record and Monitor Reports of Fume Events: Directs the FAA to develop a standardized form/system to record airline crew reports of toxic fumes. The FAA is required to publish these reports at least quarterly on a public website, so that they can be searched, reviewed, and analyzed.
  • Ensuring Investigations Occur: Requires the FAA to conduct investigations, in cooperation with the airlines and labor unions, after a toxic fume event to study the cause and prevent future events.
  • Installing Carbon Monoxide Sensors on Aircraft: Directs airline manufacturers and air carriers to install and operate carbon monoxide detectors situated in the air supply system to best enable pilots and maintenance technicians to locate the sources of air supply contamination. These detectors will alert the crew if carbon monoxide levels exceed national air quality standards. Aircraft manufacturers must develop procedures that inform the crew on how to respond to alarms.

The Cabin Air Safety Act (H.R.2208) is endorsed by the Air Line Pilots Association International, Association of Professional Flight Attendants, Association of Flight Attendants, Transport Workers Union of America, Allied Pilots Association, Association of Professional Flight Attendants, International Union of Teamsters, National Consumers League, Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association, and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

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Commentary by GreenMedInfo.com

Cabin Air Safety Act: A Huge Step Towards Exposing Aerotoxic Syndrome

“…This addresses a long known about condition which has secretly plagued the airline industry for over 60 years. The air contamination events onboard the aircraft are known as, “Fume Events” and the health condition they cause is known in Europe as, “Aerotoxic Syndrome” and in America as, “Organophosphate Poisoning” of the Brain, Lungs, Heart and Nervous System. This also creates more severe spin off health conditions such as, Encephalitis of the Brain, Reactive Airways Dysfunction of the Lungs, Catecholamine Mediated Myocarditis of the Heart, Central Nervous System damage, MCS Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Esophageal Dysphagia and Basal Cell Carcinoma just to name a few. The symptoms include everything from chronic respiratory distress, neurological impairment which looks much like Parkinson’s where the person has seizures, body tremors, memory loss, confusion, disorientation, mobility problems, cognitive brain impairments, incapacitation, loss of consciousness and in the worse cases life threatening cardiac heart conditions which have resulted in permanent disabilities and eventually death.”

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The Cabin Air Safety Act of 2019 was preceded by  a similar bill sponsored by Sen. Blumenthal– S. 1626 (115th): Cabin Air Safety Act of 2017. That bill did not even move to be heard by the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, on which he sat then and is currently a Member.

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Excerpts from differing views: 

AUGUST 14, 2017

Is S.1626’S Cabin Air Mandate Justified?

 

  • EASA, an agency with a history of strong consumer protection, issued the following startling conclusion:

“A causal link between exposure to cabin/cockpit air contaminants and reported health symptoms is unlikely.”

A review of the US regulatory and Congressional controversy may help put the EASA statement in its proper context.

Cabin air quality has been a topic of confusion and concern in the aviation industry for years. Specifically, Congress, in 1984, directed research into cabin air quality, including investigation of health risks among individuals exposed to toxic fumes during flight. The results of the research were not clear.

“Common across the RFI [FAA solicited information about this subject] responses was a reference to the lack of contaminant standards for detection of cabin air contaminants. Common standards would facilitate further commercial development and implementation of advanced detection and cleaning technologies. As shown by the search summary, the occurrence of oil or hydraulic based contamination of bleed air is extremely low. In formulating the annual aviation safety research portfolio, the FAA evaluates the relative risk of aviation safety hazards and the potential for safety improvement. The FAA will continue to consider cabin safety risk and sponsor research in this area appropriate to the risk level.”

“While previous studies suggest minimal (if any) adverse health effects from cabin air exposure since the ban on smoking went into effect, we intend to continue to monitor the development of data on cabin air contamination to further ensure the health of the flying public.”

“Quantification of the potential health risks associated with exposure to bleed-air contaminants in cabin air is not possible without broad identification and measurement of the representative hazardous constituents of bleed air during contaminated air events. Such broad identification and measurement does not exist.”

[There are many more studies on BOTH sides of the issue.]

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 JUNE 20, 2017

Another Cabin Air Quality Study Adds To The Discussion;More Definitive Study Needed

Conclusion: “The results show that the cabin/cockpit air quality is similar or better than what is observed in normal indoor environments (offices, schools, kinder gardens or dwellings). No occupational exposure limits and guidelines were exceeded.”

Conclusion: “It concluded that neuroactive products are present, but that their concentration in the presence of an intact lung barrier is too low to be a major concern for neuronal function. TCP was present in the analysed oils, however no orthoisomers could be detected. Finally, the analysis of the human sensitivity variability factor showed that the complete metabolic pathway and the contribution of inter individual variability in the metabolic enzymes is still largely unknown for the majority of industrial chemicals, including cabin air contaminants.”

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MARCH 29, 2017

Cabin Air Quality Studies Sponsored By EASA; New FAA Federal Air Surgeon Might Be Interested

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As these several opinions might suggest, Congress might defer passage of HR 2208 and obligate funds/authorize a comprehensive study by relevant experts before mandating responses to an imprecise problem. The Blumenthal/ Garamendi bill should explore the exact scientific basis of the claimed aerotoxicity before compelling the actions proposed.

[footage from a flight on which an actual fire in the belly was being extinguished.]



 

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