Yes, it’s me – The Noise Doctor. I’m back with another NoiseNews Round-Up. I’ll be bringing you some of the latest and quirkiest noise-related news stories from around the world. In this edition, I’m looking at whether noisy roads dampen the chances of getting pregnant, the noise problems of the super rich, howling hounds and Heathrow. Let’s get started.
Inconceivable! – Noise Dampens Chances of Getting Pregnant
Living near noisy roads could make it harder to get pregnant, according to new research.
A Denmark study of 65,000 people found that couples living close to busy streets take from six months to a year longer to conceive than those living in quieter areas.
Researchers analysed information from birth records and traffic noise data to study the link between fertility and noise pollution. They found that every extra 10 decibels of traffic noise increases a woman’s chances of taking more than six months to get pregnant by eight per cent.
Experts said constant exposure to noise pollution can disrupt the natural pattern of ovulation for women but they are still unclear whether it affects the fertility of men or women, or both.
A Very First World Noise Problem
A supreme court battle is brewing over a very super rich problem in The Hamptons.
For decades the U.S. Hamptons have been the summer escape for New Yorkers with tens of thousands making the hundred-mile pilgrimage east to soak up the sun in the pretty villages and sand dunes.
But in recent years the super rich has joined the exodus with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Lopez and Scarlett Johansson all owning homes in the area. And with the no-expense-spared brigade comes a very first world problem – noise made their private helicopters and jets which are brought out of the hangars to beat the highway conjestion.
Over 24,000 complaints were registered last year – a figure expected to be exceeded this year – due to the increase in popularity of “low cost” helicopter shuttles from Manhattan, such as Liberty Helicopters and Blade.
East Hampton homeowners are now engaged in a bitter battle over noise pollution from the stream of summer jets, seaplanes and helicopters, and it is a fight they have taken to the Supreme Court as court actions and appeals by the local airports saw the matter being dragged out through various court proceedings. Local residents are now hoping their latest requests for flight restrictions fall on favourable ears in the Supreme Court.
So Shopping is Bad for Your Health as well as Your Wallet?
Noisy town centres could trigger heart problems say scientists who found that sounds on busy high streets disturb normal cardiac rhythms.
Researchers from Nottingham Trent University found that constant changes in noise – even at low levels – had an immediate and disruptive effect on the patterns of participants’ normal heart rates.
The team says their findings add to a growing body of research which shows how our everyday surroundings could have wider implications for long-term health.
For the study, shoppers were asked to wear mobile body sensors to monitor their heat rates as they moved about Nottingham city centre for 45 minutes.
“We found that rapid changes in noise resulted in rapid disturbance to the normal rhythm of participants’ hearts,” said researcher Dr Eiman Kanjo. “If this pattern is repeated regularly then there is a danger it might lead to cardiovascular problems.”
Howling Hounds Result in Fines
A couple who kept 20 howling huskies in their home have been fined thousands of pounds for ignoring their neighbours’ noise complaints.
Stephen Hinchliffe and his partner Lynette from Sheffield were hit with a £2,450 court fine for ignoring a noise abatement notice – their second offence.
The council said residents complained about “persistent howling” from the 20 Siberian huskies that the couple kept at their semi. Neighbours said the noise created a disturbance and prevented them from sleeping. In October 2016, a recording device was installed at a resident’s property and 18 breaches for noise abatement were recorded.
The couple pleaded guilty to noise abatement breaches at Sheffield Magistrates Court and on Tuesday were each fined £750 and £800 costs, plus a £150 victim surcharge between them, bringing the total to £2,450. The couple had been fined for the same amount last year for the same offence.
Heathrow Points Finger at Noisy Airlines
Almost half of large airlines using Heathrow are falling short of tough restrictions on noise, night flights or emissions, according to the airport.
Europe’s busiest airport reports that 24 out of 50 carriers violated at least one target designed to cut disruption for households and improve air quality between January and March this year.
Airlines from the Middle East were the worst offenders, prompting concerns over the region’s reliance on older and more polluting planes. El Al, the Israeli flag carrier, came bottom after falling short on five out of seven measures, including noise, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, efficient landing approaches and late arrivals.
Do You Have Some NoiseNews?
Previous NoiseNews Round-Ups
- NoiseNews Round-Up: Noisiest Dogs, Pokémon Go, Cinema Snacks & Opera
- NoiseNews: Something Fishy Going on in British Waters?
- NoiseNews Round-Up: Legoland, Silent Discos, Warring Councils & Dementia
Latest posts by The Noise Doctor (see all)
- Taking a Decibel Diet: How to Reduce Noise in Your Life & Home - 27th September 2017
- Should Noise be Considered a Toxin? - 22nd August 2017
- Is the Big Ben Ban Really Bong-ers? - 21st August 2017