Reporting Fume Events
For decades, many airline companies have strongly discouraged the proper reporting of Fume Events. As a result, for the main part of all the Fume Events that have taken place, no proper reports are available. This is made clear in the shocking result of an investigation by Aviation Herald into a serious Fume Event in 2018. This fact is until today being exploited by the airline industry to downplay the problem of contaminated air on board of airplanes.
Fortunately, awareness is increasing among airline crew lately, and so does the number of reported Fume Events. It is of utmost importance to ensure that any Fume Event you encounter is reported, as this is the ONLY way to enforce proper measures to be taken and eventually a healthy working environment to be created! Proper measure imply a.o.:
1) Thorough cleaning of the entire air conditioning system, and both cockpit- and cabin interior after EVERY Fume Event
2) Building in effective filters and detection equipment
3) And eventually: abolishing the use of Bleed Air Systems for pressurisation/air conditioning.
In case you encountered a Fume Event, there are several possibilities to report this event to the proper authorities.
1) If you're on board as an active crew member: if possible, always file an ASR with your own company. You'll probably need the Captain and/or Purser to also sign this. Should they refuse to do so for whatever reason, file your ASR as yet, and make a note on it that they refused to cooperate (preferably with the reasons thereof). You should also file a copy with the authorities, especially when Captain/Purser refuse to sign your report. For the Netherlands, the address to file your report is: https://tijdelijk.ilent.nl/contact/melden/index.aspx The form is in Dutch, but filing your report in English is obviously not a problem. Choose the category: "Luchtvaart", and paste your report under "Toelichting". You can also report by telephone: +31 88 489 0000. This link is also available for passengers!
2) In case you're commuting as a crew on a foreign airline, or you're traveling as a passenger, you can still report a Fume Event by filling in this online form on the website of the Global Cabin Air Quality Executive (GCAQE), the international umbrella organisation against contaminated cabin air. GCAQE will also forward the report to the relevant authorities, either in the country of occurrence or at the airline company's home base. Visit the website of the GCAQE for more information about this organisation.