Standing room only at packed meeting

Over 400 people turned out on a Friday night in Ramsgate last night to hear about what they needed to do as ‘interested parties’ in the Development Consent Order (DCO) process.  There is a less than 30 day window for anyone negatively affected by the proposals in the application from RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) to register with the national planning inspectorate (PINS) as an interested party.  The room was packed, with all chairs filled, more being set out and standing around the room and out of the door.

See our previous post about how to register – either as an individual or as a member of a concerned group e.g. School parents, residents’ association, music studio workers, Brownie group and so on.  NNF Guidance on registering here.

Quick link here to register directly with PINS.

The meeting heard from committee members of No Night Flights.  The background to the failed airport was outlined as an update on where we are now and how we got here.

An overwhelming majority of residents in the hall remember the misery of flights overhead when the airport was open and that was with very few flights annually.  There was anger, frustration, sorrow and fear expressed in the room.

Paul Luxmoore, Executive Headteacher of Coastal Communities Academies, responsible for many schools in Thanet, spoke powerfully about the damage this proposal would inflict on the children of Thanet. He said that ‘he shuddered’ to think of the negative impact on their education, their life opportunities, their health.

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Some evidence on noise, sleep and health for  you

  1. A large-scale statistical analysis of the health effects of aircraft noise was undertaken in the late 2000s by Bernhard Greiser for the Umweltbundesamt, Germany’s central environmental office. The health data of over one million residents around the Cologne airport were analysed for health effects correlating with aircraft noise. The results were then corrected for other noise influences in the residential areas, and for socioeconomic factors, to reduce possible skewing of the data. The study concluded that aircraft noise clearly and significantly impairs health, with, for example, a day-time average sound pressure level of 60 decibel increasing coronary heart disease by 61% in men and 80% in women. As another indicator, a night-time average sound pressure level of 55 decibel increased the risk of heart attacks by 66% in men and 139% in women. Statistically significant health effects did however start as early as from an average sound pressure level of 40 decibel.[6]
  2. ^ Tödlicher LärmSpiegel, Nr. 51, 14 Dezember 2009, Page 45 (German)
  3. The researchers at Imperial found that volunteers’ blood pressure increased noticeably after they experienced a ‘noise event’ – a noise louder than 35 decibels – such as aircraft travelling overhead, traffic passing outside, or a partner snoring. This effect could be seen even if the volunteer remained asleep and so was not consciously disturbed.Aircraft noise events caused an average increase in systolic blood pressure of 6.2 mmHg and an average increase in diastolic blood pressure of 7.4 mmHg. Similar increases in blood pressure were seen also for other noise sources such as road traffic. The researchers found that the increase in blood pressure was related to the loudness of the noise, so that a greater increase in blood pressure could be seen where the noise level was higher. For example, for every 5dB increase in aircraft noise at its loudest point, there was an increase of 0.66 mmHg in systolic blood pressure. 
  4. What is a ‘noise event’? Any noise louder than 35 decibels. Blood pressure increases after people experience a ‘noise event’ even if they remain asleep. A study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, showed that an increase in night-time aeroplane noise of 10dB increased the risk of high blood pressure by 14 per cent in both men and women.
  5. Research from Imperial College London (2008) Dr Lars Jarup from the Department of Edpidemiology and Public Helath at Imperial College London – “Our studies show that night-time aircraft noise can affect your blood pressure instantly and increase the risk of hypertension. It is clear to me that measures need to be taken to reduce noise levels from aircraft, in particular during night-time, in order to protect the health of people living near airports.”
  6. Noise pollution: non-auditory effects on health Stephen A Stansfeld and Mark P Matheson  http://bmb.oxfordjournals.org/content/68/1/243.full
  7. In 1992 in Germany, Munich airport was relocated to a new site 50km away ‘Old’ Munich Airport – Children studied showed aircraft noise had a negative effect on memory and reading comprehension.  Three years after the airport moved to its new location, the same children showed improvements in long-term memory.  ‘New” Munich Airport.  Within three years, children living under the flight path of the relocated airport were showing deficits in long-term memory and reading comprehension.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0934885999800145  http://www.noiseandhealth.org/article.asp?issn=1463-1741;year=2003;volume=5;issue=19;spage=31;epage=40;aulast=Matheson   http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4603189.stm
  8. “There is increasing evidence that air and road traffic noise might be related to high blood pressure,” says Stephen Stansfeld, professor of psychiatry at Barts and the London School of Medicine. “Exposure in school to aircraft noise is also linked to reading impairment in children. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/sep/23/healthandwellbeing.pollution
  9. Dr. Hans-Friedrich Doering and Dr. Hans-Werner Tuettenberg
D: Exposure to noise has hormonal and somatic-nervous effects. During the day-time the body has defence mechanisms to resist stressful noise. Then, the somatic nervous system is in a phase of production or performance in which the body is used to work and disregard what disturbs.

Q: And what happens during the night?

T: While sleeping, during the Vagus phase of the somatic nervous system, everything is being done that was put aside or left over from the day.

D: During the night the waste material of the cells (cell garbage) is being processed, mental as well as physical. Because of that, dream phases are indispensable.

T: Sleep occurs in specific cycles and nocturnal aircraft noise chops up these cycles.

Q: What does that mean?

D: The recycling work is being blocked or simply said: the cells cannot regenerate, the head is not decongested. Garbage piles up. This leads to disorders of the heart and blood circulation system, the metabolism, the lipids, the immune system and the digestive functions.

T: In people who are chronically exposed to noise the risk of a noise-induced myocardial infarction is 10 times higher than the generally known health risk of cancerous air pollutants. Furthermore, aircraft noise can also lead to considerable hormone shifts and disorders in pregnant women.

  1. The following interview is from an article about noise, published in the “Koelner Anzeiger” and “Leverkusener Anzeiger” (Germany) on Wednesday, April 21, 1999, the 4th International Noise Awareness Day. It was translated by Hans Schmid, Right to Quiet Society, Vancouver, Canada.  http://www.areco.org/499noise.htm

Dr. Hans-Friedrich Doering “Our job as medical professionals is to work with the patients and also to tell them that as the immediately afflicted they have to defend themselves. Health damage from aircraft noise, especially during the night, is objectively demonstrable. Legal steps can then be taken by patients’ associations.”

Bernhard Greiser for the Umweltbundesamt, Germany’s central environmental office 2009. The study showed that aircraft noise clearly and significantly impairs health, with, for example, a day-time average sound pressure level of 60 decibels increasing coronary heart disease by 61% in men and 80% in women. As another indicator, a night-time average sound pressure level of 55 decibels increased the risk of heart attacks by 66% in men and 139% in women. Statistically significant health effects did however start as early as from an average sound pressure level of 40 decibels.

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