Noise pollution in Arizona

This photo of an F-16 Fighting Falcon taking off from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona is in the public domain

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

This podcast from Arizona Public Media discusses noise pollution in Arizona. The particular issue in the Tucson area is fighter jet noise from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. A-10s are noisy but still quieter than F-16s. Residents are now concerned about the possible stationing of new F-35 jets, which are much louder.

The first half of the podcast is citizens explaining their noise problems in the Tucson area. The second have is an interview with The Quiet Coalition’s Richard Neitzel, PhD, on the faculty of the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Prof. Neitzel is heard at about minute 16 of the podcast, where he discusses the adverse effects of noise on health.

Aircraft noise pollution is well-studied as a health and public health hazard, and is known to cause hypertension and other cardiovascular disease and also interference with learning in schools located beneath flight paths. Do click to listen to the podcast, as it’s well worth your time.

Dr. Daniel Fink is a leading noise activist based in the Los Angeles area. He is the founding chair of The Quiet Coalition, an organization of science, health, and legal professionals concerned about the impacts of noise on health, environment, learning, productivity, and quality of life in America. Dr Fink also is the interim chair of Quiet Communities’ Health Advisory Council, and he served on the board of the American Tinnitus Association from 2015-2018.

Comments (2)

  1. Ben

    Do you know of any good research evaluating the effect of noise pollution on our immune system? I’d half-expect to see something, but I couldn’t find much that directly tests this. But there was a helicopter buzzing my neighbourhood for about 3 hours yesterday and I’m wondering whether/how much it made a few thousand people more susceptible to Coronavirus…

    Reply
  2. Daniel Fink MD

    Ben:

    In direct answer to your question, no, I don’t know of research evaluating the effect of noise pollution on the human immune system. One could theorize about multiple effects, some possibly strengthening the immune response and others weakening it, but I don’t know if anyone has studied this. So I did a Google search on the search terms “effect of noise on the immune system” and there are a number of scientific articles in the peer-reviewed literature. I assume you are able to do that search yourself.

    Whether a 3 hour exposure to helicopter noise is enough to cause a clinically significant change in the human immune response is probably something that hasn’t been studies, though.

    Hope this helps.

    Reply

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