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TOPIC: Council outlines new Quieter Neighbourhoods strategy

Council outlines new Quieter Neighbourhoods strategy 10 Sep 2019 15:38 #4790

Quite a few years since, and after attending couple of specialist seminars, I flagged both here, in the local press and to some local politicians, the impending wave of air pollution related risks that would eventually break. Break they did and now, three lost court cases later, we still wait HMG’s response to protect our health from this now widely acknowledged harm.

Long since in the background but gaining traction is a partner in health-crime, noise. And guess what.

There are two main worries: the first, the large one-off noise such as aeroplanes, leaf blowers, the motor cycle with added affect exhaust and such. Above certain levels the damage to hearing is irreversible, but of equal concern is the change to metabolisms leading to increased blood sugar levels and a diabetes risk, one seen as higher than that due to air pollution; the second, effectively the baseload noise in cities, is just there and mostly down to traffic. We may get used to it but it makes it no less dangerous.

Noise is linked through research to increased levels of belly fat (not obesity) thought to be a stress related outcome of increased cortisol levels. An all London piece of research over 25 years found clear and significantly higher levels of death and stroke risk in noisier postcodes.

Switzerland, and now France, has deployed noise radars to catch the noisiest vehicles, albeit that doesn’t address the base level, always-there, traffic noise.

In numbers, 80% of noise pollution is down to traffic, 40% of the EU population is exposed to traffic noise at above WHO recommended levels and the trail then goes to sleep problems, anxiety, stress, diabetes, poorer work and school performance, increased blood pressure and more.

“Quieter Neighbourhoods” may have been superseded by” Low Traffic Neighbourhoods” in the terminology, but one outcome of both should be the same – less traffic noise and so better health. Just like secondary smoke from smokers, that car is doing silent harm to others. Whatever is implemented locally has taken an inordinate amount of time from the first local authority communication, it can’t come soon enough.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Adrian Day

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