I live in a relatively quiet city, until recently. A flight school
opened up across the bay from me, and all day long, all I can hear
outside are these private plane motor noises.
It is really awful. It is like having a gas powered lawn mower
above me all day long. As one plane leaves, another one takes
its place. I am grateful when the evening comes, or for a rainy
day, so I wont hear them anymore.
It is impossible to work in my garden anymore without going crazy.
Seconded. Noise is a terrible thing, it knows no boundaries, and is
incredibly powerful. Think of it, you'll watch a TV show if the picture is a
bit scrubby, but if the sound is distorted and you can't understand it, you
You can't close the door on sound, it will permeate everything you do.
Perhaps we should all go back to an agrarian society, get rid of all
modes of transport save the horse. Shut off the electricity, close down
the hospitals and break out the leeches.
I'd rather listen to a small plane going over for 45 seconds than listen
to the boom boom boom of hip-hop coming out of a honda civic with a
2foot subwoofer in it.
The Office of Noise Abatement & Control which enforced the Noise Control
Act was abolished by Ronald Reagon, & airports have run roughshod & out of
control ever since. According to Noise Pollution Clearinghouse data, only
thirteen states have regional regional noise restrictions for airports, &
most of those have no method of enforcement. This is because of the
political clout of big-business which the airline & airport industries
are. Technology does exist to quieten airplanes, but nothing requires them
to invest in noise abatement. If the government needs to get better at
killing people they can build soundless stealth bombers & muted
helocopters whose fup-fup-fup is barely detectable; but when it comes to
peoples' health, peace, & well-being, no one can be bothered to use such
The single largest source of harmful noise pollution in the United States
is airports. Noise pollution is regulated for highways, construction,
railroads, & even when & how long you can listen to your stereo, & your
rattling air conditioner could be illegal if your neighbor can hear it.
But airports invest in government clout in order to not invest in noise
abating technology. The investment paid off: NCA regulations specifically
prohibit state restrictions of interstate commerce such as state-to-state
airlines, which is why states have had such a hard time even passing let
alone enforcing noise abatement laws, while the FAA's noise policies are
incompatible with human health. The marginal noise reduction of the newest
airplanes is outpaced by increases in airline traffic, expected to be more
than one-third greater within two years, by 2007.
If you live in an airplane routing pattern they come overhead one after
another day in & day out from early morning to late at night. Increasing
airport traffic needs has caused a relaxation of night-time noise
pollution restrictions -- FedEx for instance sends all its planes out
after midnight & before 5AM -- so in many places there is no time of the
day or night when roaring jets overhead ever stop. The airplane patterns
can extend to ten miles of "stacked" planes so that you'd have to live
fifteen to twenty miles away before the jets were high enough to not be
ROARING overhead so loudly that normal conversations might occur inside
houses. No one living in such an environment even knows what it is like to
listen to a three-minute pop-tune all the way through before an airplane
drowns it out, as the jets follow one after another at 45-second
Airplane traffic tends to be routed over poorer neighborhoods because of
the greater political clout of rich people.
Here are some of the health repurcussions:
1) A Cornell University study headed by Gary Evans looked at the effects
on 3rd & 4rth grade students who had grown up up under airplane noises. In
comparison to children not exposed to airplane noise pollution every day,
these children had higher blood pressure, higher amounts of the stress
hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine & cortisol associated with heart
disease, lowered immune-cell counts, & higher cholesterol. The children
also suffered from a greater number of mental health problems compared to
children attending the same school, at the same economic level, but not
under airplane traffic.
2) A 1990 study by the National Institutes of Health established that
residential neighborhoods with airplane traffic have residents with
substantial hearing loss. Industrial workers have better noise level
protections than do neighborhoods near airports.
3) The threshold of pain caused by sound is 120 to 130 decibals. Rock &
roll concerts average 120 decibals. Airplane noise pollution over many
neighborhoods is 130-150 decibles. At two miles from airports, noise
levels are typically around 100 decibals, the equivalent of a locomotive
roaring by the house. There IS an FAA policy that PURPORTS to restrict
airplane noise to an average of 65 decibals, but this is an "average"
which eradicates the need to actually keep the decibals at or below 65,
since the "average" of the noise includes before it is overhead & after it
has passed on. When "averaged" out over an hour, peaks may be 150, but if
lulls between overflights are low, it averages out as "no problem." If the
average WERE ever brought down to the reputed 65 decibals, that would mean
airports could still make the equivalent noise of starting a lawnmower or
running a food blender every two minutes without relent, & would be
sufficient to maintain the majority the negative health impacts.
5) Airplane noise has stopped some species of birds from nesting or to
abandon their nests with young partially raised.
6) People living inside a fifteen mile radius of an airport suffer sleep
deprivation & illnesses associated with sleep deprivation. A typical
international airport will have more than 100 take-offs & landings during
the night, fewer than during the day but enough to guarantee nobody gets a
healthy night's sleep, never experiences sufficient REM sleep, the
inevitable outcome being chronic fatigue, decreased efficiency, anxiety, &
7) People living near airports have a higher incidence of job-related
industrial accidents, gastrointestinal disease, & loss of concentration.
8) Families living under airplane noise have increased incidents of
domestic violence & child abuse & neglect. Aggression levels rise in
people living in airplane corridors, & the impulse to help others in need
lowers. The whole social fabric becomes frayed.
9) Communities in airplane corridors have increased use of sleeping pills
& tranquilizers & abuse of prescription drugs, also:
10) Increased rates of alcoholism & a 100% increase in the rate of
cirrhosis of the liver for people living under airplane noise;
11) Increased rate of admission to psychiatric hospitals.
12) Infants born to mothers living under flight patterns have lower birth
weights, & higher rate of prematurity, & increased rates of spinal bifida
13) One study showed a 15% increase of strokes for people living near LA
International Airport compared to people in quiet neighborhoods. Not all
studies show quite that dramatic an increase, but strokes & heart disease,
increased blood pressure, & increased cholesterol, are well proven to be
significantly higher. An Amsterdam study of 6,000 individuals showed that
the very shape of the heart is different for people living with airplane
14) People living in airplane patterns have increased rates of duodenal &
stomach ulceration & other severe gastrointestinal diseases.
15) A study of 6,000 students in Highline schools found that students
living in areas impacted by SeaTac Airport noise have a higher rate of
learning disabilities. Several schools are in the airplane patterns, &
the Breysse study at the University of Washington establisehd that
academic performance was worse where noise pollution was highest. The most
afflicted Highline School District's math scores remain the third-lowest
in the state.
16) People living in airport patterns have altered speech patterns
probably associated with their sleep deprivation & loss of concentration.
Join the RIGHT TO QUIET SOCIETY:
Citizens Against Airport Pollution:
Adverse health effects of airports:
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
It is not only homes near airports that are affected.
The airplane noise has increased substantially over my neighborhood in the
past year, and I am at least 15 miles from Fort Lauderdale International
Airport. In the winter months (when doors and windows are open) you can't
watch a movie without having to pause several times while a plane roars
Between that and the goldarned ice cream man I could scream.
South Florida USA
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