Letter: Exposure to jet noise may have damaging effects

Editor,

Noise exposure from military jets has long been shown to cause a significant increase in blood pressure and “shock” to the body.

If noise rises and subsides quickly, such as occurs with low-level flights where there are multiple jets flying one after the other, a person’s blood pressure does not return to the pre-noise level and continues to climb higher and higher. This is shown in a published, peer-reviewed study: acute circulatory effects of military low-altitude flight noise of combat jet noise.

This effect happens regularly in Oak Harbor and Coupeville.

Recent studies on environmental noise exposure and health outcomes have found associations with annoyance; cardiovascular effects; obesity and metabolic effects, such as diabetes; cognitive impairment; sleep disturbance; hearing impairment and tinnitus; adverse birth outcomes; and quality of life, mental health and well being.

Noise impacts mean lost days of work, lost hours in our schools and lost years of life. This is supported by science, extensive research, and multiple studies around the world that include recognizable credible entities such as the state Health Department, World Heath Organization and Environmental Protection Agency.

Noise is measured in decibels. The dB scale runs from the faintest sound the human ear can detect, 0 dB, to over 180 dB, the noise at a rocket launch. Crickets singing on a summer evening produce a noise level of about 40 dB and a high-speed Growler jet flying overhead at low altitudes can produce as much as 120-130 dBs. That may sound like the jet is only three times as loud as the crickets, but decibels are measured in powers of 10. Put another way — every time a noise is doubled, there’s only an increase of three decibels.

The EPA explains that, if someone in a 24-hour period is exposed to 1.5 minutes of noise over 100 dB, they will experience permanent hearing loss. JGL, an independent noise expert, found one 36-minute session of 28 jet overflights at Rhododendron Park in Coupeville exposed occupants to two minutes, 15 seconds of noise at 100-114 dB, nearly twice the EPA hearing-loss threshold.

Jet noise measured throughout Puget Sound shows that Growler noise regularly exceeds the safe guidelines of the EPA and WHO. Science and facts tell the story – jet noise is a public health issue.

We all must advocate for no new jets and no new flights. Public health demands it.

Maryon Attwood

Coupevllle

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: Families who adopt are honored this month

Editor, ‘Tis the season for giving thanks. That is why the month… Continue reading

Letter: Drive safe and have a happy Thanksgiving

Editor, Regarding Thanksgiving, to paraphrase another holiday’s song: it’s (one of) the… Continue reading

Letter: No Community Harvest planned this year

Editor, On behalf of the North Whidbey Community Harvest, I would like… Continue reading

Letter: Thanks to Whidbey emergency personnel

Editor, I would like to express my deepest thanks to the Whidbey… Continue reading

Letter: Amazon should be encouraged to fix delivery issues

Editor, I am, like most of us here on the south end… Continue reading

Letter: RVs parked on side of roads are a concern

Editor, Is there a new RV park on Oak Harbor Road/Street? In… Continue reading

Letter: Port should continue to explore ideas

Editor, Thank you to all who supported my effort to become the… Continue reading

Letter: Re-election of school board members heartened

Editor, In response to the results of last week’s election, I am… Continue reading

Letter: Paychecks can’t keep up with tax increases

Editor, According to your Oct. 26 article, the Coupeville school district is… Continue reading

Letter: Slash piles on hill are eye sore, dangerous

Editor, On the hill behind Safeway are several large piles of slash.… Continue reading

Letter: Campgrounds should be a top priority for park and rec levy

Editor, The recent news article about the South Whidbey Parks and Rec… Continue reading

Letter: Public entity should take over Oak Harbor airport

Editor, I read with interest the article in the Whidbey News-Times on… Continue reading