Thursday, 9 July 2015

Airlines aerotoxins

Campaigner pushes BA on death rate figures 
Taken from Big Issue in the North magazine. 
A former BA employee who believes many of the airline’s staff are dying prematurely has released a YouTube video showing photos of hundreds who have died recently. 
Cabin supervisor Dee Passon became concerned about her colleagues’ health while working and secretly conducted a survey among airline staff. This revealed high levels of depression, blood pressure, confusion, memory loss and lung cancer. 
When Passon was forced to retire six years ago BA agreed to pay an ill-health pension after accepting a doctor’s diagnosis that she was suffering from aerotoxic syndrome, which safety campaigners argue is the result of organophosphate toxins released into aircraft during flights. But airline companies, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport do not believe air quality is below safe levels. 
Passon established the Angel Fleet Public Group Facebook page in 2014. It has over 7,500 members. She asked people who wanted their dead loved ones to be included in a video to send in photos of those who “have transferred to Angel Fleet”. 
Among those featured on Silver Wings Volume 1 are Andrew Barnes, 46, and Amanda Aitken, 30, who died in 2014 and 2011. 
Passon has compiled a list of BA employees who have died prematurely. There were 23 deaths among BA staff in 2014, including Shabila Mahmood, 43, Caroline Goldring, 28, and Captain Jon Latter, 55. 
Three each were the result of suicide and cancer, five of heart attack, one each of pneumonia and an accident. Five could not be determined by the coroner with four currently unknown. 
Passon asked BA for its death rates among its staff. It refused, and also did the same with a similar request from representatives of the British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association. 
Passon’s own calculations suggest that with 15,000 cabin crew and 3,500 pilots the death rate amongst BA staff is 1:804. She approached the Metropolitan Police Service and was told that in 2013 the service had 29,974 active officers and a death rate of 1:1500; almost half that of BA. 
“With the BA staff death rates being almost double than the Metropolitan Police it should be a cause for concern,” said Passon. “The airline company should examine what lies behind these figures, including whether aerotoxins play a part.” 

A BA spokesperson did not dispute Passon’s calculations but said: “There is no evidence to suggest
that working for an airline increases the risk of premature death and the substantial research conducted into questions of cabin air quality has found no evidence that exposure to potential chemicals in the cabin causes long-term ill health.” 

1 comment:

  1. In situations such as these, where big companies either deny or defend themselves, often resulting in court cases, where harm is done to others, what would help is if all the so called 'expert witnesses' who are not qualified sufficiently or have relevant experience in the field required (if at all) to give 'expert opinion', who do not meet the strict criteria laid down in Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules, were challenged and removed from the system as they should be, before giving evidence. The problems are that when these non 'experts' give this non opinion that is relied upon in court, many of these cases set precedent for all future cases which usually ends up preventing other victims in the future from seeing justice done for them, making victims, victims, twice over. Speaking from experience I would recommend anyone fighting any issue, that gets to court or not, where so called 'expert' are used for 'expert' opinions in reports and such, that they check out their credentials and experience too, including also checking any titles used by them such as 'Professor' or 'Dr'. Never assume that lawyers or those instructing them have done the checks that they should have, even lawyers rarely do this. So if an 'expert' is used in a large landmark case that sets a huge precedent where thousands may lose out, if it's later found that the 'expert witness' did not have the necessary qualifications and necessary experience does that mean that person committed a fraudulent act, is it perjury? Does that make their evidence flawed and any judgement flawed? You would think yes. Would be good to know where we are supposed to report something like this? How can this be justice? British Justice or Expert Witness Whitewash'? Sadly the latter methinks.