Aircraft noise can become a serious health problem for residents of the airport
Those who live near an airport often have to deal with heavy noise pollution. The noise can quickly become a health risk factor and, in severe cases, can even cause heart diseases such as a heart attack or a stroke. In this context, scientists from the United Kingdom and the United States have found evidence that residents in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport in London have an up to 25% higher risk of developing heart disease or a stroke in the course of their lives.
Problems due to aircraft noise time and again Problems and conflicts arise due to aircraft noise, flight times and flight paths. People who live in the immediate vicinity feel disturbed and worry about their health. Rightly so - because the body reacts to the noise with stress, which can lead to difficulty concentrating, sleep disorders or a general weakening of the immune system. There may even be serious illnesses because, as various studies have shown, there is a connection between aircraft noise and cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
Increased risk of cardiovascular diseases? Aircraft noise can therefore become a real problem for the so-called “airport residents”. British and American researchers have now found out in two studies that there is also an increased risk of cardiovascular disease for people living near Heathrow Airport in London. According to the researchers, the results are not direct evidence that aircraft noise has a negative impact on health, but research in this direction should urgently be continued.
British researchers investigate the impact of aircraft noise on health For their research, scientists from the Imperial College in London investigated the effects of air traffic at London's Heathrow airport on the approximately 3.6 million residents of the airport. To do this, they compared the data on aircraft noise pollution measured in several London boroughs between 2001 and 2005 with the number of people who were treated in hospital for cardiovascular diseases or died during the same period.
Significantly increased risk in residential areas with high noise pollution The researchers came to the conclusion that in areas with more than 63 decibels the highest noise pollution, people had a 14 to 24 percent higher risk of cardiovascular diseases than those in significantly quieter areas (with up to 51 decibels). This is no coincidence for first author Anna Hansell: "High concentrations of aircraft noise were associated with an increased risk of stroke, coronary heart disease and hospital admissions and mortality from cardiovascular diseases in areas near Heathrow Airport in London", said the scientist in an article in the British Medical Journal. Nevertheless, according to Hansell, it cannot be ruled out that there could also be other triggers for the diseases - however, some possible external influences such as smoking or air quality had already been taken into account in the study.
US study confirms the results In a study, US scientists from Harvard University came to a similar result. A team of researchers led by Francesca Dominici had examined hospitalizations for cardiovascular diseases for six million elderly US citizens aged 65 and over who lived in the vicinity of 89 airports in the USA in 2009. Here, too, a clear picture emerges: Those who lived in areas with particularly high noise pollution (from 55 decibels) had a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases than others. As the scientist Stephen Stansfeld from Queen Mary University in London wrote in a comment, the studies mentioned would thus provide "preliminary indications" that "aircraft noise is not only a cause of anger, sleep disorders and reduced quality of life, but also possibly problems and Contributes to death from cardiovascular diseases. "
Hessian Administrative Court dismisses complaints But it is not only the residents of the Heathrow Airport area who have to deal with considerable noise pollution. In various German cities, too, there are always problems and problems because residents feel harassed. In this context, Frankfurt am Main Airport also repeatedly hits the headlines. Just a few days ago, the Hessian Administrative Court (VGH) in Kassel had rejected a lawsuit filed by the city of Offenbach, as well as that of a private landowner from the municipality of Hasselroth and the Main-Kinzig district, against the so-called "extended horizontal approach" to the southern runway and the Northwest runway of Frankfurt Main Airport went. The reason: "In the case of the plaintiffs, the threshold of unacceptability due to the noise pollution due to the so-called extended horizontal landing approach to Frankfurt Main Airport, as determined by the Federal Supervisory Office, was not exceeded; this is also not to be expected in the future, ”said the Administrative Court. (No)
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