I’m writing this guest post as a response to the posts regarding the problems with noise emanating from the Exxon Mobil owned Fife Ethylene Plant at Mossmorran.
In reading the response from Catherine Cubitt at Exxon Mobil, which Kirkcaldy councillor Judy Hamilton sent to me, I noted that they made an apology for the disturbance but also claimed that there was “no danger” to the local community. Having read the comments from locals suggesting that their homes are often subjected to noise pollution from the plant, usually at night, I wonder whether Exxon Mobil are aware of the actual effects noise can have on health.
Noise pollution is a serious health risk, whether it is coming from an anti-social neighbour or a nearby industrial installation.
If scientists believe that Traffic Noise Causes Heart Attacks, they must also surmise that people regularly exposed to other forms of noise pollution may also be at risk.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) also raise the issue of noise creating heart attack risk ~
“Acute noise exposures activate the autonomic and hormonal systems, leading to temporary changes such as increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and vasoconstriction. After prolonged exposure, susceptible individuals in the general population may develop permanent effects, such as hypertension and ischaemic heart disease associated with exposures to high sound pressure levels (for a review see Passchier-Vermeer 1993; Berglund & Lindvall 1995). The magnitude and duration of the effects are determined in part by individual characteristics, lifestyle behaviours and environmental conditions. Sounds also evoke reflex responses, particularly when they are unfamiliar and have a sudden onset.” (Section 3.4 Cardiovascular and Physiological Effects).
Given that the noise pollution from Mossmorran seems to happen at night and results in sleep disturbance, one can only wonder at the actual health effects of the noise on the local community.
I’ll keep this short, but I have more information and links about the health effects of noise if people would like to read it.