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Health Issues Caused By Living Near an Airport

October 12, 2017

There is mounting evidence that living near an airport may cause health issues. There are various health risks which can have long term effects and can prove to be fatal for the life of people living near the airport. Listed below are four major contaminants residence should monitor while living near an airport.

1. Noise

Airports are major contributors to noise pollution because an aircraft and its components produce a lot of noise during the various stages of a flight. The sources of noise include power units, propellers and jet exhaust. It has been found that in residential areas, aircraft induced noise levels go up to 60 decibels in the day and 45 decibels at night. Constant exposure to such high levels of noise can lead to several health problems like hypertension, hearing impairment, heart problems, sleep disturbance and irritation. In extreme cases, the immune system can get compromised and children can be born with birth defects.

2. Odors

Air pollution is another major problem associated with airports. The toxic emissions released by aircrafts contain volatile organic compounds or VOC’s and nitrogen oxides which pose a serious threat to human health. These pollutants are very smelly and constant exposure to them can cause severe headache as well as respiratory problems. Aviation emissions are transmitted in the form of sprays which even our lungs cannot filter out.

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The emissions that come out of the aircrafts contain a large variety of chemical elements including ozone. Ozone is a very powerful oxidant which affects the tissues of the respiratory tract. It leads to throat irritation, tightness in the chest and cough. The inflammation in the lung increases the chances of asthma attacks. Ozone exposure can make it very difficult for people to breathe deeply. It can also induce emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In extreme cases it leads to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

4. Soot

Emission from aircraft also contains impure carbon particles called soot. These are released as a result of incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons. This carcinogenic substance is present in the form of a powder which easily mixes with the air. When human beings breathe such polluted air constantly, it can lead to problems like chronic lung disease, asthma, lung cancer and influenza.

5. Ultra-fine particulates

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The air around an airport contains ultrafine particulates. They are extremely small in size which is why they affect a larger surface area of the lung tissue. Ultrafine particulate matter can lead to serious respiratory diseases which are connected to cardiovascular problems. The ultra-fine particles pass quickly into the circulatory system and cause cellular damage as well. Problems like cancer, asphyxiation, drowsiness, mutations, pulmonary irritation, wheezing, mental depression and distorted perceptions are all results of exposure to such ultra-fine particulate matter.

Measures to deal with these harmful effects

  • Go for indoor air quality testing

Combating the harmful effects of living near the airport is very important. The first thing that you need to do is to go for an indoor air quality testing and air sampling so that you get to know the level of air pollution that you are exposed to. Testing can give you an exact idea regarding the amount of dust, mold and chemicals in the air inside your house. Once you know the quality of air that you are breathing, you can take actions to improve the air quality and remove the potential indoor air pollution sources. More than 10,000 chemicals can be tested and identified. If you live near the airport, you should immediately go for such air quality testing in order to avoid the health damage due to polluted air.

  • Buy a noise meter

Measuring noise levels is very important to understand the level of noise that you are exposed to on a daily basis. Monitoring the noise level and removing the sources of noise pollution help in preventing health risks pulmonary and lung diseases. You can buy a noise metre to measure and control knowing that you are exposed to. Locating problem areas in your house can give you an idea as to where you need to put in sound filters to keep out the noise.

  • Install High quality air purifier

There are many air purifiers available in the market nowadays to deal with air pollution inside the house. You should always go for high quality air purifiers which are able to remove the maximum particulate matter from the air so that you can protect your health. These air purifiers act as vacuum cleaners and clean the air of dust, pollen and particulate matter. They can prevent allergies and other health issues.

  • Check the presence of internal filters in HVAC system

You should always check whether your HVAC system has air filters or not. If not, you should get them installed immediately. This can help in reducing the amount of particulate matter that you are exposed to. The HVAC system is a major source of air pollution if the filter is not present because it disperses the particulate matter.

If you follow these tips, they can help you to reduce the health risks of living near the airport.

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