Aircraft Noise and Child    Development: AnEnvironmental Health Risk       AssessmentNSCEH Student Project Nov 2005
The Identified Issue• Has aircraft noise affected, or likely to affect, the  cognitive development of children, in a schoo...
Process Undertaken• Hazard Identification  – Noise health effects & researched evidence• Dose Response  – Response of chil...
HAZARD     IDENTIFICATIONAircraft Noise - affecting childrens      cognitive performance?
Adverse effect of noise…….?WHO DEFINITION:“a change in the morphology and physiology of an organism  that results in”:• Im...
Health Effects from Noise• Hearing                   • Sense of well-being• Annoyance                 • Concentration• Sle...
Comparative noise levelsQuiet conversation 50 – 60dB(A)Vacuum Cleaner    70dB(A)                                   85dB(A)...
Noise - Health Effects on Children• Vulnerable group @ 5 – 11 years   – Critical stage in cognitive development.   – Less ...
Evidence – related studies•   Los Angeles Airport Study (Cohen et al, 1980, 1981)•   New York Airport City (Evans & Maxwel...
DOSE RESPONSEAircraft Noise - affecting childrens      cognitive performance?
Dose-responseTable 1: Noise levels in a classroom below whichhealth effects would not be expected     Noise location      ...
Relationship of Test Scores to Noise           Source: Stansfeld et al (2005)
Comparison of Test Scores pre/postAirport Closure (ie:Noise Removal)    Source: Hygge, Evans and Bullinger (2002)
• “Stimuli context effect”  – Impact of noise range, duration and time    between noise  – Annoyance with noise greater wh...
EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT Aircraft Noise - affecting childrens       cognitive performance?
Exposure Assessment• Exposure route is auditory• Disruption caused by aircraft is a key  factor in this issue• Health effe...
Model representing noise effects   noise       speech      impaired exposure     perception    reading  predictor   mechan...
• Exposure measured using noise loggers,  questionnaires, tape recordings  – NB: Loggers require calibration, so data    i...
RISK CHARACTERISATION Aircraft Noise - affecting childrens       cognitive performance?
• Average number of flights/day = 19.5 (1/hr)• Aircraft noise impact ~ 15 sec/flight                                   Rel...
• Increased air traffic  has potential to  adversely affect  reading results,  anxiety levels,  affecting children,  paren...
Potential Costs• Potential costs associated with long-term  noise exposure include:  – remedial education,  – decreased co...
Risk UncertaintyAssumptions:• All flights pass over the schoolRisk Assessment Limitations:• Interpretation of noise data-c...
Risk Uncertainty Confounding Factors:• Unknown other factors include:   – socio-demographics,   – excess noise in home set...
RISK MANAGEMENTAircraft Noise - affecting childrens      cognitive performance?
Evidence Findings• Sufficient evidence indicates that noise has a  negative effect on cognitive performance.• However, it ...
Site Plan of St Stephens School                                                 North Wing                                ...
Noise Control Recommendations         Existing Noise Measurements   100dBA                                                ...
Noise Control Recommendations        100dBA90dBA            50dBA
Noise Control Data and Solution Control            Description           ANR      $     Responsibility                    ...
Risk Management &              Communication• Formation of an ad hoc group involving EPA,  Health, AAL, Commonwealth Gover...
Team:Alison Jones, Xiao LiuColin Marsh, Lester NationGraham Ohmsen, Louise Miller-Frost, Barry MortimerPeter Collins, Kirs...
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the effect of environmental noise of childhood cognition and development

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This group presentation was developed in a "fast-task" situation for the National Environmental Short Course in 2005. It used a hypothetical example of a school subjected to environmental noise from several sources. This won the best presentation award for 2005.

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  • St Stephens located at the corner of Main South Road and Henley Beach Road. Located on the ANEF 25. AS2021-2000 Table 2.1 advises that a school built on the 20 to 25 ANEF is conditionally acceptable upon incorporation of noise control features. AS2021-2000 Table 3.3 suggests the design levels within schools are: Study areas – 50dBA Teaching areas – 55dBA Churches/Religious activities – 50dBA
  • Noise levels were taken within the school grounds: The following were readings taken: 15 65 5 55 45 95 Hall 25 75 15 65 40 90 North Wing 25 75 15 65 40 90 South Wing 35 85 25 75 40 90 West Wing Peak Noise from South Road Actual ANR Average South Road Background Noise Actual ANR 100 dBA Aircraft Actual ANR Class Room
  • the effect of environmental noise of childhood cognition and development

    1. 1. Aircraft Noise and Child Development: AnEnvironmental Health Risk AssessmentNSCEH Student Project Nov 2005
    2. 2. The Identified Issue• Has aircraft noise affected, or likely to affect, the cognitive development of children, in a school of 200, located under the flight path?• If yes, what is the level of risk and what recommendations can be provided to the school population and authorities? • Airport due for expansion • Recent school academic results indicated a six month delay compared to state average • Parents extremely concerned about test scores, and the potential impact of aircraft environmental noise on their children’s reading skills, attention, memory, thinking ability and general health • Risk Assessment undertaken by local scientists in consultation with school, PTA and authorities
    3. 3. Process Undertaken• Hazard Identification – Noise health effects & researched evidence• Dose Response – Response of children to noise levels• Exposure Assessment – Means and level of exposure by the children• Risk Characterisation – Integration of information to assess risk; explanation of confounders, uncertainties & limitations• Risk Management & Communication – Recommendations & communication plan
    4. 4. HAZARD IDENTIFICATIONAircraft Noise - affecting childrens cognitive performance?
    5. 5. Adverse effect of noise…….?WHO DEFINITION:“a change in the morphology and physiology of an organism that results in”:• Impaired functional capacity, or• Impaired capacity to compensate for additional stress, or• Increase in susceptibility of an organism to the harmful effects of other environmental influences.This definition includes any temporary or long-term lowering of the physical, psychological or social functioning of humans or human organs.”
    6. 6. Health Effects from Noise• Hearing • Sense of well-being• Annoyance • Concentration• Sleep disturbance • Impairs cognitive• Stress / Hormonal performance• Cardiovascular effect • Reduces task• Communication performance • Diminishes memory• Auditory discrimination • Motivation• Speech perception
    7. 7. Comparative noise levelsQuiet conversation 50 – 60dB(A)Vacuum Cleaner 70dB(A) 85dB(A)Aircraft 87 – 100dB(A)Take Off / LandingMP3 Headphones 94dB(A)Rock Band 120 – 150dB(A)
    8. 8. Noise - Health Effects on Children• Vulnerable group @ 5 – 11 years – Critical stage in cognitive development. – Less coping mechanisms for additional stressors – Reading and language acquisition – complex cognitive tasks• Physiological and Psychological Effects• Noise affects the ability to perform complex cognitive tasks due to: – Communication - auditory discrimination & speech perception – Distraction – sustained attention, memory and recall – Fatigue – sleep disturbance“reading, attention, problem solving andmemory are most strongly affected bynoise” (WHO)
    9. 9. Evidence – related studies• Los Angeles Airport Study (Cohen et al, 1980, 1981)• New York Airport City (Evans & Maxwell, 1997)• Munich Airport Study (Evans et al, 1995; 1998)• Heathrow Studies (Haines et al, 2001 a,b,c; 2002)“Over 20 studies have reported that noise adversely affects children’s academic performance”Stansfield S (2004), ‘Review on state of the art in children and noise”, 3rd International Conference on Children’s Health and the Environment, Centre for Psychiatry, Queen Mary University of London
    10. 10. DOSE RESPONSEAircraft Noise - affecting childrens cognitive performance?
    11. 11. Dose-responseTable 1: Noise levels in a classroom below whichhealth effects would not be expected Noise location dBLAeq16hr, 6am-10pm Outside 50-55 Inside 35 Source: Berglund et al (1999)
    12. 12. Relationship of Test Scores to Noise Source: Stansfeld et al (2005)
    13. 13. Comparison of Test Scores pre/postAirport Closure (ie:Noise Removal) Source: Hygge, Evans and Bullinger (2002)
    14. 14. • “Stimuli context effect” – Impact of noise range, duration and time between noise – Annoyance with noise greater when exposed to loud noise intermittently, lesser when noise constant. – (Aasvneg and Engdahl, 1999)• Aircraft noise levels above 50 dB(A) in a classroom can affect performance
    15. 15. EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT Aircraft Noise - affecting childrens cognitive performance?
    16. 16. Exposure Assessment• Exposure route is auditory• Disruption caused by aircraft is a key factor in this issue• Health effects above 70db(A)• Range : between 85.7 - 100.8 dB(A)
    17. 17. Model representing noise effects noise speech impaired exposure perception reading predictor mechanism outcome
    18. 18. • Exposure measured using noise loggers, questionnaires, tape recordings – NB: Loggers require calibration, so data interpretation may also be influenced by position and other environmental noises (traffic, wind, playground)
    19. 19. RISK CHARACTERISATION Aircraft Noise - affecting childrens cognitive performance?
    20. 20. • Average number of flights/day = 19.5 (1/hr)• Aircraft noise impact ~ 15 sec/flight Relationship between Aircraft Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) Level and Community Reaction in Residential Areas (National Acoustic Laboratories Report No 88)
    21. 21. • Increased air traffic has potential to adversely affect reading results, anxiety levels, affecting children, parents, school staff and other local population
    22. 22. Potential Costs• Potential costs associated with long-term noise exposure include: – remedial education, – decreased cognitive development – decreased attention – health costs
    23. 23. Risk UncertaintyAssumptions:• All flights pass over the schoolRisk Assessment Limitations:• Interpretation of noise data-contribution affected by noise logger location, and other noise sources• Questionnaires highly subjective• Data from one school (200 pupils) – no control• Climate - wind, humidity etc affect sound transmission in the air
    24. 24. Risk Uncertainty Confounding Factors:• Unknown other factors include: – socio-demographics, – excess noise in home setting, – other chemical/biological factors (eg: Pb), – children’s hyperactivity / developmental disability, – teacher quality• Other sources of environmental noise at the school include road traffic, other classrooms• Flight paths are affected by wind direction
    25. 25. RISK MANAGEMENTAircraft Noise - affecting childrens cognitive performance?
    26. 26. Evidence Findings• Sufficient evidence indicates that noise has a negative effect on cognitive performance.• However, it is uncertain whether the current school performance can be directly attributed to aircraft noise: – Existence of confounding factors and data limitations – A lack of control studies in the local situation and lack of evidence about prior test results – Insufficient evidence on effects of combined noise (WHO)• Risk management is recommended to address relevant standards
    27. 27. Site Plan of St Stephens School North Wing West Wing Hall 90dBA Main South Road South Wing Henley Beach Road
    28. 28. Noise Control Recommendations Existing Noise Measurements 100dBA Noise Level Measurements During Aircraft Flyover South Wing: 90dBA North Wing: 90dBA West Wing: 90dBA Hall: 95dBA Noise Levels while Semi-Trailer on South Road South : 75dBA North : 75dBA West: 85dBA90dBA Hall: 65dBA AS2021-2000 Table 3.3 Design Noise Level = 50dBA
    29. 29. Noise Control Recommendations 100dBA90dBA 50dBA
    30. 30. Noise Control Data and Solution Control Description ANR $ Responsibility dBACeiling High Density Insulation 30 $15/m2 School & PTAInsulation Batts laid on existing ceilingRoof Acoustic frame consisting 30 $25/m2 CommonwealthInsulation of insulation and battens Government GrantDouble Additional windows added 35 $150/ CommonwealthGlazed to create double glazing, or unit GovernmentWindows replace existing windows Grantand Doors and doors.Screen Single brick wall 115mm 45 $100/m School & PTAWall Thick rendered one side.
    31. 31. Risk Management & Communication• Formation of an ad hoc group involving EPA, Health, AAL, Commonwealth Government, and school representatives.• Further monitoring to be co-ordinated by this group throughout the remediation process• Proposed communication strategy – Letter to parents informing them of school information session – Notice of information evening to be advertised in community media – School information session to explain situation and future plans – Parents to receive regular updates on remediation status of school – Fact sheet to be made available to media
    32. 32. Team:Alison Jones, Xiao LiuColin Marsh, Lester NationGraham Ohmsen, Louise Miller-Frost, Barry MortimerPeter Collins, KirstenSupported by:Hannah Aumann and A/Prof DinoPisaniello Questions?

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