FUME Event Guide 12/2017



A fume event is an inhalation accident of aircraft cabin air, which was contaminated by either heated fluids such as engine oil, hydraulic fluid, anti-icing fluid or other potentially hazardous chemicals. 



Discuss procedures, communication and self protection.


On Board

Inform Cockpit Crew and Head Flight Attendant about any smell. Protect yourself if necessary according to Dangerous Goods Procedure (smoke hoods).


Immediate Action:

Avoid further exposure. First aid: O2.



Cpt: Incident must be noted in technical logbook. Cockpit and Cabin Crew: fill in "Smell/Bad Air Report“ which stay onboard as info for mechanics (copy).  


Contact Doctor/Hospital

Due to an occupational accident, a so called „Durchgangs-Arzt“ has to be contacted in case of any symptoms. We recommend rather a medical office than a hospital, due to possible long waiting time at emergency room units. 3500 „D-Ärzte“ are listed in the following database, you will find one in your area: 


BG offers in 12 hospitals a case data collection, examining some compounds in urine and blood samples. The participation is voluntary, but not relevant for any therapy. 

Important: desinfection before taking the blood sample should not be conducted with solvent borne desinfectant, but with a 3% aqueous  hydrogen peroxide  solution (AMR 6.2.); If not possible, pls note name of desinfectant.


Symptoms may occur immediately or later on, they can develop over days or weeks.

Referral to a medical specialist for occupational health, toxicology, neurology and/or pneumology if necessary (let the doctor mark with a cross „besondere“ Heilbehandlung, nicht „allgemeine“ Heilbehandlung according §11 & §12 Abkommen Ärzte/Unfallversicherungsträger), preferably: 

Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Astrid Heutelbeck,
Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine,
Fume Ambulanz der Hautklinik
Robert-Koch-Str. 40
37075 Göttingen, Germany
Fon: +49 551-39-65047
E-Mail: aheutel@gwdg.de


Health effects could be:

mucosa irritation, headache, abdominal cramps, muscle weakness, flu-symptoms, vomiting, difficulties with balance and walking, prickling and numbness.


Have a laboratory provide you with: 

  • complete blood count (CBC), white blood count (WBC) + Differential, liver transaminases, creatine kinase with isoenzymes.
  • blood gas analysis including CO-Hb, MET Hb and O2-saturation have to be measured as quick as possible since the half-life period of CO-Hb (Carboxyhemoglobine) is 245 minutes. Measurements on the following day might be normal again. Smoking will affect the results.
  • AChE (Acetyl-Cholin-Esterase) should be analyzed immediately and monitored within the following weeks.

Moreover, the following symptoms should be examined and documented: cardiac arrhythmia, electrocardiogram ECG, respiratory distress, neurologic deficits.

Additionally get two samples of 30ml blood (EDTA) for further toxicogical testing (preferably in Göttingen). Collect 3 urine samples within the first day, then at least one per day the following 5 days. Store frozen (sterile urine beakers are available at pharmacies or use normal cup or bottle with lid).


Long-term effects of neurotoxicity can be:

fatigue, memory dysfunction, trouble concentrating and speaking. Symptoms must be logged and supervised by a doctor continously. An event-diary with all medical results is important, therefore a detailed documentation is necessary. In case of 30 days of long term effects: pls contact Göttingen for small fiber neuropathy test. Testkit is available in Göttingen via postal mail, address see above. If a pneumological examinations are necessary: spiro ergo, lung ventilation, perfusion and diffusion (DLCO, DLNO). Pls contact pneumology departments with Carefusion devices.   



According to EU-edicts 996/2010 & 376/2014 a governmental report is mandatory.

Every crew member is authorized and responsible for reporting to:

German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation
+49 531 3548-0, 

Fill in the online and mark with a cross both, BFU and LBA, in order to make sure, that both agencies will be informed.


Flight Report:

ASAP: pls write & copy (e.g. by photo) flight/cosmic reports for your company. Describe the incident as detailed as possible.


Accident notification (BG):

Fill in the accident report and send it to your airline, as well as PV and internal work safety (online reports are possible at some airlines). Print copy or photocopy. The employer is obliged to forward the accident report to the BG in accordance with SGB 7 §193.

If no forward confirmation from the employer to the BG has been received after a week, pls request this confirmation from your airline.

If this request is not follwed, please file a copy of the accident report by yourself to BG:

BG Verkehr
Hauptverwaltung Hamburg
Ottenser Hauptstraße 54
22765 Hamburg
Tel.: +49 40 325220-0
Fax: +49 40 325220-2699



your employee representatives (PV) and inform UFO about the accident by forwarding the BFU/LBA- & flight reports.


Please click on the picture to get a printable version of the smell event guide.


PDF: SMELL EVENT GUIDE ( Date 12/2017 ) 

Fume Event Guide

Wie verhalte ich mich bei einem Vorfall, bei dem ich möglicherweise kontaminierter Kabinenluft ausgesetzt bin? Der neu veröffentlichte UFO Fume Event Guide gibt Antworten und bietet einen Leitfaden vom Briefing bis zur ärztlichen Betreuung.


Überarbeitete Version

Fume-Guide Deutsch

Fume-Guide English 


Positionspapier der UFO Deutsch

UFO position paper english