No, contrails are not chemtrails that cause cancer and respiratory illness

By: Arron Williams
June 15 2023

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No, contrails are not chemtrails that cause cancer and respiratory illness


The Verdict False

Cloud-like trails formed behind aircraft are 'contrails' caused by water vapor condensing in the right atmospheric conditions.

Claim ID e5630aa6


An Instagram post with over 50,000 likes claims that chemtrails from planes are part of a global depopulation agenda and spread barium chloride to cause cancer, respiratory illness, damage to the immune system, and sterilization. 

It further states that this supposed agenda aims to wipe out 95 percent of the human population and claims that fluoridated drinking water and man-made viruses such as AIDS are also part of this agenda. 

In Fact

The vapor trails produced by planes are not chemical trails, and these claims are related to the known and heavily debunked chemtrail conspiracy theory. According to the BBC, the chemtrail conspiracy theory believes that the plumes of white clouds and trails that form behind aircraft are chemicals governments use to control the weather, poison the population, or make people easier to control. However, these claims are baseless, and the “chemtrails” are actually condensation trails of water vapor. Water vapor is released from aircraft engines, and if the atmospheric conditions are right, they condense and form ice crystals.

A wide body of academic evidence also refutes the idea of chemtrails. The University of California, Irvine, and the Carnegie Institute of Science found that well-understood physical and chemical processes explain contrails, through a survey of the world’s leading atmospheric scientists, specializing in condensation trails and atmospheric deposition of dust and pollution. 76 of the 77 scientists stated they had not encountered evidence of a secret atmospheric spraying program. Contrails, to use the correct term, are a normal result of airplanes flying in certain atmospheric conditions.

Additionally, there is no evidence that contrails produce or spray barium chloride. One of the experts in the study mentions finding “high levels of atmospheric barium in a remote area with standard ‘low’ soil barium,” saying it was potential evidence of a secret large-scale spraying program. However, there is no evidence this was caused by contrails.

There is also no proof that contrails cause cancer or harm human health. A 2015 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report cited by National Geographic concluded that contrails might contribute to climate change which in turn may generally impact public health and environmental protection, but they are not a direct threat to human health. 

Logically Facts has previously found other chemtrail claims false and has also investigated claims that fluoridated water is toxic and that AIDS was a man-made virus. All were found unsubstantiated, as was the claim that there is a “global depopulation agenda.” 

The Verdict

Condensation trails, also known as contrails, in the sky are a normal phenomenon and not chemtrails. There is no evidence that they produce harmful chemicals that cause cancer or respiratory illness. There is also no evidence of a secret global depopulation agenda. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.


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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before