|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zoa.artcc|
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zoa.artcc|
|Make Model Name||DC-10 Undifferentiated or Other Model|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||cruise : level|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight attendant : on duty|
|Qualification||flight attendant : currently qualified|
|Experience||flight attendant time airline total : 34|
flight attendant time total : 34
flight attendant time type : 100
|Affiliation||company : air taxi|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
cabin event : passenger illness
cabin event other
non adherence : far
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other other : cab #1|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
Attached are 4 pages of notes from my flight log regarding the unhealthy air quality on some of our DC10's. Sfo-hnl, dating from nov/xa/99, to the present. The stinky, stuffy, stale, stagnant, dirty, and chemical smelling air, lacking in breathable air, becomes a problem for passenger and working flight attendants when all the pack flow control switches are not set on normal (high), or when two are turned on low. Some of the symptoms of breathing this poorly ventilated air include: shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, headaches, stuffy or drippy nose, congested lungs and sinuses, sinus pain, sneezing, sore throat, coughing, head cold, burning and tired eyes, pressure behind eyes, tearing eyes, lightheadedness, dizzy, weak extremities, muscle aches, tired, sleepy, lethargy, fatigue, stress, and reduced mental capacity. The lack of adequate ventilation in the aircraft reduces air quality by permitting pollutants to accumulate. Some of these pollutants may include carbon dioxide, produced by dry ice and human breathing, atmospheric ozone, fibers and dust, formaldehyde in carpets and seat material, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds from fuel, cleaning fluids, a mix of toilet chemicals, dirty air filters, pesticides, possible cigarette smoke residue, and bacteria, fungi and viruses from passenger and food. It is a known fact that increasing the ventilation flow rate, as within other micro-environments, improves public health, reduces symptoms, and decreases the risk of contracting illnesses and airborne bacteria and viruses. Contrary to the company's manual position that passenger comfort is increased by reducing air flow noise, cabin conditions on these old DC10's are such that passenger comfort is adversely compromised by reduced air flow, as is the health of working flight attendants, resulting in possible toxic chemical poisoning. Flight attendants have a right to a workplace with full utilization of air. An aircraft is an environmental control system. It is not only the aft cabin that has poor air quality, it's the entire passenger cabin, lavatories, service center and galley. Zone a, B and C are not confined, isolated self-sustaining entities, but a single, self-contained aircraft. Knowing the poor air quality ventilation consequences of not operating with all 3 pack flow control switches on normal, it has been standard operating procedure for most pilots to leave them all on during flight, or at least to turn them all on normal when advised by flight attendants of lack of ventilation. Is company policy on pack settings different than flight manual procedures? After 34 yrs of flying, and probably the last 20 yrs on DC10's, a concern for my own health and that of my flying partners and our passenger is my priority in reporting this ongoing problem. In these last months of DC10 flying, there is no time to waste in resolving this issue.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: CABIN ATTENDANT RPT, DC10, SFO-HNL. SITES AIRLINE'S DC10 MANUAL FOR AIR FLOW PACKS SET ON LOW, OR #3 TURNED OFF, FOR PAX COMFORT AS BEING THE OPPOSITE: HEALTH THREAT FOR PAX AND CABIN ATTENDANTS.
Narrative: ATTACHED ARE 4 PAGES OF NOTES FROM MY FLT LOG REGARDING THE UNHEALTHY AIR QUALITY ON SOME OF OUR DC10'S. SFO-HNL, DATING FROM NOV/XA/99, TO THE PRESENT. THE STINKY, STUFFY, STALE, STAGNANT, DIRTY, AND CHEMICAL SMELLING AIR, LACKING IN BREATHABLE AIR, BECOMES A PROB FOR PAX AND WORKING FLT ATTENDANTS WHEN ALL THE PACK FLOW CTL SWITCHES ARE NOT SET ON NORMAL (HIGH), OR WHEN TWO ARE TURNED ON LOW. SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS OF BREATHING THIS POORLY VENTILATED AIR INCLUDE: SHORTNESS OF BREATH, DIFFICULTY BREATHING, HEADACHES, STUFFY OR DRIPPY NOSE, CONGESTED LUNGS AND SINUSES, SINUS PAIN, SNEEZING, SORE THROAT, COUGHING, HEAD COLD, BURNING AND TIRED EYES, PRESSURE BEHIND EYES, TEARING EYES, LIGHTHEADEDNESS, DIZZY, WEAK EXTREMITIES, MUSCLE ACHES, TIRED, SLEEPY, LETHARGY, FATIGUE, STRESS, AND REDUCED MENTAL CAPACITY. THE LACK OF ADEQUATE VENTILATION IN THE ACFT REDUCES AIR QUALITY BY PERMITTING POLLUTANTS TO ACCUMULATE. SOME OF THESE POLLUTANTS MAY INCLUDE CARBON DIOXIDE, PRODUCED BY DRY ICE AND HUMAN BREATHING, ATMOSPHERIC OZONE, FIBERS AND DUST, FORMALDEHYDE IN CARPETS AND SEAT MATERIAL, NITROGEN OXIDES, VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS FROM FUEL, CLEANING FLUIDS, A MIX OF TOILET CHEMICALS, DIRTY AIR FILTERS, PESTICIDES, POSSIBLE CIGARETTE SMOKE RESIDUE, AND BACTERIA, FUNGI AND VIRUSES FROM PAX AND FOOD. IT IS A KNOWN FACT THAT INCREASING THE VENTILATION FLOW RATE, AS WITHIN OTHER MICRO-ENVIRONMENTS, IMPROVES PUBLIC HEALTH, REDUCES SYMPTOMS, AND DECREASES THE RISK OF CONTRACTING ILLNESSES AND AIRBORNE BACTERIA AND VIRUSES. CONTRARY TO THE COMPANY'S MANUAL POS THAT PAX COMFORT IS INCREASED BY REDUCING AIR FLOW NOISE, CABIN CONDITIONS ON THESE OLD DC10'S ARE SUCH THAT PAX COMFORT IS ADVERSELY COMPROMISED BY REDUCED AIR FLOW, AS IS THE HEALTH OF WORKING FLT ATTENDANTS, RESULTING IN POSSIBLE TOXIC CHEMICAL POISONING. FLT ATTENDANTS HAVE A RIGHT TO A WORKPLACE WITH FULL UTILIZATION OF AIR. AN ACFT IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL CTL SYS. IT IS NOT ONLY THE AFT CABIN THAT HAS POOR AIR QUALITY, IT'S THE ENTIRE PAX CABIN, LAVATORIES, SVC CTR AND GALLEY. ZONE A, B AND C ARE NOT CONFINED, ISOLATED SELF-SUSTAINING ENTITIES, BUT A SINGLE, SELF-CONTAINED ACFT. KNOWING THE POOR AIR QUALITY VENTILATION CONSEQUENCES OF NOT OPERATING WITH ALL 3 PACK FLOW CTL SWITCHES ON NORMAL, IT HAS BEEN STANDARD OPERATING PROC FOR MOST PLTS TO LEAVE THEM ALL ON DURING FLT, OR AT LEAST TO TURN THEM ALL ON NORMAL WHEN ADVISED BY FLT ATTENDANTS OF LACK OF VENTILATION. IS COMPANY POLICY ON PACK SETTINGS DIFFERENT THAN FLT MANUAL PROCS? AFTER 34 YRS OF FLYING, AND PROBABLY THE LAST 20 YRS ON DC10'S, A CONCERN FOR MY OWN HEALTH AND THAT OF MY FLYING PARTNERS AND OUR PAX IS MY PRIORITY IN RPTING THIS ONGOING PROB. IN THESE LAST MONTHS OF DC10 FLYING, THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE IN RESOLVING THIS ISSUE.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.