Noise Pollution Boosts Blood Pressure
Aircraft or traffic noise boosts blood pressure even when you sleep.
International research team examined 140 volunteers living near four major European airports. The volunteers' blood pressure was being remotely monitored. It was increased by 6.2 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and by 7.4 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure.
Blood pressure increase was monitored when the volunteers were exposed to noise higher than 35 decibels. Same thing happens with those exposed to traffic noise.
Researcher Dr Lars Jarup, from Imperial College London, said: "We know that noise from air traffic can be a source of irritation, but our research shows that it can also be damaging for people's health - which is particularly significant in light of plans to expand international airports. 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."
Despite of clear research results, some experts doesn't agree with it. For example a spokesperson for Transport Department said: "There were very strict controls on aircraft noise and night flying at Heathrow, and noise at the airport had been steadily improving due to the introduction of modern quieter aircraft. However, we are aware of people's concerns which is why the government has set out strict local noise conditions on expansion at Heathrow."
Professor Graham McGregor also doesn't agree with the research saying that according to statistics mainly poor people live near aiport and that high blood pressure may be cause by poverty and too much salt in food.
Another study showed that people living near airport more than five years have higher blood pressure. Research suggests that these people have high risk of hypertension. However, the reason and mechanism noise affects health is not yet clear, but it is clear that noise pollution is another important issue for public health.