Accordingly I’m going to excerpt more than I otherwise would, so no suicide CW for what’s below:
Airlines aren’t required to tell passengers if a fume event has happened or what they might have been exposed to.
The FAA is supposed to track fume events. Congress in 2003 ordered the agency to create a new and comprehensive reporting system. It never did.
More than a decade ago, the FAA funded a study that would have determined the toxicity of fume events, using air samplers that cost about $250 each. The research had been mandated by Congress. But the airlines refused to allow flight attendants to bring the devices aboard, according to a 2014 FAA-funded report.
In recent statements, the agency referenced studies showing “less than 33 [fume] events per million” flights.
But a 2015 study by Kansas State University funded by the FAA concluded that the actual frequency is more than six times higher — about 1 out of every 5,000 flights. A top Boeing official said in a recent deposition that the study’s finding was accurate.
Five years ago, German airline Lufthansa asked Boeing for a new feature on 777X jets: sensors. Lufthansa believed the air monitoring devices were necessary to detect fume events, according to an internal Boeing memo. Lufthansa, the memo stated, had health concerns about contaminated air and worried about resulting disruptions and extensive maintenance.
Boeing never installed sensors.
You know, as someone from Washington, I grew up with friendly feelings toward Boeing. Even with the recent changes driven by profit-extracting executives, I had a real fondness for Boeing engineering.
But I really don’t know how you live with this.