Concerns related to adverse health effects experienced by aircrew exposed to aircraft contaminated air have been ongoing for over 6 decades.
Unfiltered breathing air is supplied to the cabin via the engine compressor. The likelihood that oil leaking over the engine oil seals may enter the cabin air supply has prompted continuing debate about the hazards associated with exposure to neurotoxic substances and to the thermally degraded or pyrolysed mixture.
In this study, we undertook an in-depth investigation of aircrew involved in suspected aircraft contaminated air events.
Two studies were conducted to review the circumstances and symptoms of a cohort of aircrew working in the pressurized air environment of aircraft. A table of effects was then used for categorizing symptoms and reviewing other sources of data related to aircraft fluids and selected other conditions.
Both acute and chronic exposures to neurotoxic and a wide range of thermally degraded substances were confirmed, along with a clear pattern of acute and chronic adverse effects. The latter were supported by medical findings and diagnoses, notably involving the neurological, neurobehavioural and respiratory systems.
A clear cause and effect relationship has been identified linking the symptoms, diagnoses and findings to the occupational environment. Recognition of this new occupational disorder and a clear medical investigation protocol are urgently needed.
Download scientific research paper from the World Health Organisation…
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Defence Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has today reiterated his call for the Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe to establish a formal investigation into the health effects of years of exposure to toxic chemicals on Irish Air Corps personnel
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of current and former members of the Irish Air Corps (both civilian & military) were exposed to a vast cocktail of highly dangerous workplace chemicals including carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxicants and immune sensitisers.
Teachta Ó Snodaigh said;
“The failure of the Air Corps management to implement even the most basic chemical safety provisions possibly resulted in considerable physical and mental health injury to exposed personnel.
“The exposure to toxic chemicals for decades appears from figures collated by former Air Corps personnel to have contributed to a very high number of fatalities from a variety of rare and complex cancers, cardiovascular disease and suicides, and also high rates of miscarriage of partners.
“For 20 years, military authorities ignored recommendations from safety reports and only acted when their failure to act was highlighted by whistleblowers.
Read full press release on Sinn Féin website below…
Please view the honourable & fair demands of Air Corps Chemical Abuse Survivors here.
77 verified deaths have occurred in total since 1980
64 of these deaths have occurred since 2000
40 of these deaths have occurred since 2010
25 of these deaths have occured since the Minister for Defence was notified by Protected Disclosure in 2015
Either the rate of death is accelerating or we are missing many deaths from previous decades or possibly both.
3 most significant causes of death
Approximately a third of deaths are from cancer
Approximately a third of deaths are cardiac related
Approximately a fifth of deaths are from suicide (15)
*We record untimely as dying at or before age 66 (civilian pension age), average age of death is 50 years. We are counting deaths from medical reasons & suicide, we are not counting accidental deaths or murder.