Most of the arguments surrounding the issue have been based on nuisance or the perceived loss of property values. To me, the most salient point to be argued is whether or not the excessive noise can actually lead to premature death—and the answer is yes!
How does airport noise affect the health of those who are subjected to it?
At the base level, it’s important to recognize that the word noise is actually derived from the Latin word “noxia,” which means harmful or noxious.
It is a stone cold fact that noise pollution can indeed create a host of health issues, as well as leading to premature death.
Here’s the proof:
Experts are well aware that exposure to excessively loud noise can lead to high blood pressure, loss of sleep and digestive issues. It is only natural to think that interrupted snooze patterns, mental exasperation and overall loss of enjoyment can lead to compromised health. And all of these types of “stresses” to the body can manifest themselves in a way that can potentially lead to premature death.
In 2007, a study was conducted by the Environmental Health Perspectives, which was subsequently cited by the National Institute of Health. M. Nathenial Mead’s “Noise Pollution: The Sound Behind Heart Defects” was an eye opening insight into just how noise pollution can harm the human body and, more specifically, have an adverse effect on the heart.
Other researchers have confirmed the fact that long term environmental noise exposure has increased the established endogenous risk factors of ischaemic heart disease. This establishes a higher risk of myocardial infarction.
Some people on the other side of the issue have said, “These complainers are just a bunch of old spoiled people who are against a progressive group of individuals who enjoy expedited travel times to our area.”
However, if you believe the data, a massive reduction of this excessive airport noise is the only thing that can reduce the potential for premature death to those who are subjected to it. Don’t we have an obligation to those who may be affected?
As an interesting side note, I have been made aware that one East Hampton woman, as a result of the constant airport traffic noise, has suffered permanent damage to her ear.
Of course, it’s also quite possible that the ear was injured from having her phone tightly pressed up against it as she called in hundreds of noise complaints, for several hours each day.