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.

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  1. Kate

    June 15, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I first put this comment on the Post about Dawn Chorus o Mossmorran, but after reading this article I felt it should be posted here. Your Post is interesting and informative. Thanks.

    Heath Issues.
    I live in Lochgelly, up the top end, my house faces Mossmorran. The flaring has been going on for 5 days now, the noise is constant, I can hear it in every room in my house. I have a long-term chronic illness, M.E., the constant noise and pressure of the rumbling worsens my condition. I know of others in this area who also become ill when the Moss is flaring for several days. People suffer with migraines, lack of sleep, tiredness, energy drain. It is known that the noise and the pressure of the rumbling impact on people who already have health issues, it puts an extra pressure on their already deplected energy. This is one of the hidden costs of having Mossmorran as our next door neighbour, it does impact on some people negatively.


  2. Lochgelly

    June 15, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Hi Taexalia, thanks for posting this article and collating the info for others, much appreciated 😉

    I’ve upgraded your account to ‘Author’ status, so you no longer need any admin approval for any future posts and you can upload images as well.

    Thanks again for posting 😉


  3. Taexalia

    June 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Kate,

    I hear you and it makes me sad, and angry, that people are subjected to this type of thing and nothing is done. When every room in your home is invaded with noise you have nowhere to relax and nowhere to go and this increases the stress. Is there a way of encouraging more people to share their experiences in a collected way?

    Lochgelly – thank you 🙂 if you’de like more about Noise I’m sure I can write more as it seems like the noise from Mossmorran is affecting people in quite a wide area 🙁


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