Initial post mortem research, performed in Amsterdam, of 15 prematurely deceased airline personnel has indicated that there may be a correlation between long term low level exposure to contaminated bleed air in jet aircraft and subsequent observed damage to the brain, heart and Peripheral Nervous System. All individuals show similar damage, comprising of:

  1. Infiltration of T-lymphocytes inside the brain combined with apoptosis of brain cells.
  2. Infiltration of T-lymphocytes in the myocardium: catecholamine mediated myocarditis (taka tsubo) or an a-specific borderline lymfocytic myocarditis. Compared by the Dallas Criteria 2012/2013/2014 and updated again. (more than 14 lymfocytes per 10 hpf without necrosis) If there is sufficient necrosis than its called lymfocytic myocarditis.
  3. Infiltration of T-lymphocytes into the Peripheral Nervous System, causing demyelination.

The aim of the Foundation is to expand the work we have been doing,  in concert with the neuropathologists of the University of Amsterdam over the last 6 years, with the use of a special post-mortem protocol:

  • 50 airline crew or Frequent Flyers with symptoms described as Aerotoxic Syndrome.
  • 50 individuals who have never flown in an aircraft and have not been in contact with pesticides.

Relevant articles can be downloaded from this site.

Goals of the Foundation 

The aim of IKAROS foundation is to prove the hypothesis of long term exposure to contaminated air in jet aircraft is causal for chemical  induced neuro-toxicity, observed in airline personnel and passengers.

1) Identifying and approaching family members of prematurely deceased airline personnel and passengers worldwide, within 24 hours after dying.

2) To obtain formal approval for an extensive obduction of the deceased person via direct family members.

3) To arrange for a mobile pathology team to be on site within Europe or delegate the work to a neuro-pathologist elsewhere. A special protocol will be forwarded.

4) Histo-pathological material obtained will be shipped to the University of Amsterdam for further research and testing.

5) Average cost of one obduction will be around €6000.

6) When the total of a 100 cases has been reached a scientific paper will be written on the outcome of our findings.

Fund raising:

Funding required will either be met by the family or airline involved. In addition, other sources of funding, like lottery, travel organisations and individuals, will be approached to be able to cover the costs for this research. Required budget will be around €600.000.

Expenditure and management of received funding:

Funding will be received on the dedicated bank account. From there the following costs will be paid for:

1) Travel, board and lodging cost of the mobile team. basic salary for persons involved in this team. Integral costs for a pathologist and his team outside of the EU.

2) Costs for backoffice: telephone, IT, accountant, Networking world wide. Work will be done on a voluntary basis.

3) Costs for histo-pathological testing, toxicology, neuro-pathologist, laboratory and university services involved.

4) members of the board will receive the actual costs for expenditures made, on behalf of the foundation, like travel expenses, board and lodging. All the work will be done on a voluntary basis.

Information about the Foundation:

TRIODOS Bank account

IBAN:   NL04 TRIO 0788 7922 29

Bic or Swift code:   TRIONL2U

In name of:   Stichting IKAROS

Chamber of Commerce number: 75867729

RSIN: 8604.26.543


Rossinilaan 12


The Netherlands

+31 35 3030100

Members of the Board: (work will be done on a voluntary basis)

  • Prof. D. Swaab
  • M.F.A. Mulder, MD
  • Mr. F. Cannon

Expected budget for 2020 estimated around €200.000.