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High stroke and heart disease link to living close to airports (The Age)
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Aeroplane noise may increase the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack according to Dr Emma Hansell's research.

After 11pm is when they really start to hear it. The recognisable rumble can make for sleepless nights across Keilor and the suburbs near Melbourne Airport, when international planes use the north-south runway to launch and land.

''Even when they're not flying directly overhead, the noise is noticeably loud,'' says Paul Perillo, who has lived in the area for 22 years. ''You know when a plane's taking off and you know when it's landing.''

But new research shows that living near an airport or under flight paths could affect more than quality of life. Peer-reviewed studies in the British Medical Journal have linked aircraft noise to higher rates of stroke and heart disease that increase with people's proximity to an airport.

Researchers have compared data on day and night-time aircraft noise with hospital admissions and death rates among 3.6 million people living near London's Heathrow Airport. Factoring in smoking rates, socio-economic status and ethnicity, the research found the risk of stroke, heart and cardiovascular diseases were between 10 and 25 per cent higher in areas with high levels of aircraft noise.

Mr Perillo, whose family home is near one of Melbourne Airport's flight paths, is among many residents unhappy with the ever-increasing noise and fumes over Keilor, Broadmeadows, Gladstone Park and Jacana.

Melbourne Airport's two existing runways are expected to reach capacity between 2018 and 2022, with a second east-west runway proposed as a third airstrip.

The preliminary draft master plan was released in May and outlines the future direction and vision of the airport for the next 20 years. The affected properties are mostly to the east of the airport.

Kelvin Bennett, of lobby group Fight the Flight Path, said the noise from ever-increasing air traffic through Melbourne Airport was affecting residents and hoped the noise studies would be taken into consideration in the airport's plan.

Melbourne Airport spokeswoman Anna Gillett said airports were noisy by nature, ''but we know that noise is a concern of the community''.

''Respecting these concerns is a critical consideration of our future developments, including our master plan and proposed third runway,'' she said.

The Age, 11.10.2013Externer Link

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