There was a fascinating exchange in the House of Lord yesterday ...
Lord Tyler of Linkinhorne (Lib Dem) asked Her Majesty's Government:
Which of the tricresyl phosphate (TCP) isomers they consider is the most and second most toxic isomer of TCP. [HL1111]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham):
The Government have not undertaken a specific comparative toxicological assessment of tricresyl phosphate isomers.
Lord Tyler (followed up by pursuing the Under Secretary further) asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they consider mono-ortho-cresyl-phosphate (MOCP) more or less toxic than triorthocresyl phosphate (TOCP); and when this toxicity was first accepted. [HL1112]
Lord Darzi of Denham: The Government have not carried out a specific comparative toxicological assessment of mono-ortho-cresyl-phosphate and triorthocresyl phosphate.
Which will puzzle many , and pass most people by.
What on earth is Lord Tyler ( descendant via his mum of Bishop Jonathan Trelawny, on whose behalf "20,000 Cornishmen" threatened to march on London against James II's autocratic government in 1688! On his dad's side he is descended from Oliver Cromwell) blathering on about ?
Well Paul (Lord Tyler) has been banging on about the problems of air toxicity in civil aircraft for some considerable time - especially concerning the BAE 146 ( Search his website for the word "toxic" for all his articles / House of Lords Questions / debates etc.,)
Briefly the The Aerotoxic Association is a Global Association formed by concerned air crew came dedicated to the health and wellbeing of Pilots, Cabin Crew, Engineers and Passengers urgently seeking information and support after exposure to fumes in aircraft.(see also associate group website Toxic Free Airlines ) especially the Press release of 18th June 2007 of theuir Parliamentary launch which conicided with coincides with the final date for submissions of evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee's inquiry on 'Air Travel And Health'. (Report here from 2000 of their first enquiry)
Modern jet passsenger aircraft receive cabin air which is sourced by compressors who intake air ahead of the engine of the combustion chamber. This is fed unfiltered to the cabin through the air conditioning system. If engine seals are faulty or fails to work correctly then pyrolised (burnt) engine oil can (and does) leak into the cabin air. Jet oils contain a mixture of chemicals including organophosphates which are added as anti-wear agents and are also powerful neurotoxins such as the TCP / TOCP and MOCP that Lord Tyler was quizzing Lord Darzi of Denham and HMG about yesterday.
The synthetic engine oils contain chemicals of the Organo Phosphate (OP) group of compounds, added as anti-wear agents. For instance, Mobil Jetoil II is
Since 2000 more than 200 seperate investigations have been carried out by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) into cases of contaminated air entering UK aircraft.
Such toxins are not only a health hazard - by affecting pilots and crew and their judgement it is also a serious flight safety problem. It is also one which HMG have studiously ignored.,,,Paul Tyler talks of "The continual complacency of a succession of Ministers" - exemplified by Lord Darzi yesterday and previously (and frequently) by the pompous Dunderhead from Brighton, Lord Bassam
Captain Susan Michaelis, co-founder of Toxic Free Airlines is a former Australian airline pilot who has published many papers on these matters and is a winner of the Sir Donald Anderson Civil Aviation Award. She is the author of the 'Aviation Contaminated Air Reference Manual' (www.susanmichaelis.com), an 850 page guide to the issue, 10 years in compilation. The manual details thousands of aerotoxic events, provides extensive technical information, and details of governmental, industry-funded and independent studies. It is the most comprehensive and authortitative account of the issue available.
See also the Acer Centre of Excellence for Airliner Cabin Environment research for American rsearch on the issue. Also Corporate Watch Newsletter 36 on the subject here with a review of the recent work of the Committee on Toxicity (COT) and the House of Lords, Science and Technology Committee. Captain Tristan Loraine of the The Global Cabin Air Quality Executive (GCAQE) commented that, 'the COT appear to be looking after industry interests rather than passenger and crew health and flight safety'
PS : Blogger is acting up like a bugger today - anyone else out there having problems ?