(PMA265 reffers to the purchasing department of the Navy)
According to PMA265 representatives, the F/A-18E/F aircraft emits, and the EA-18G will emit, a maximum of 150 dBs, which is well above the noise level considered hazardous to hearing (greater than 84 dBs). According to PMA265, they made no initial attempts to mitigate the flight-line/deck jet noise hazard through design selection. This is contrary to the system safety design order of precedence specified in the MIL-STD-882D
PMA265 representatives stated that they did not pursue minimizing noise generated by the F/A-18E/F engines through design because warfare sponsors (Commander, Naval Air Forces representatives) did not identify noise requirements as KPPs within the Operational Requirements Document (ORD).
PMA265 did not attempt to mitigate the jet noise hazard in the initial design and development of the aircraft, did not follow required guidance relating to risk levels and risk acceptance authority levels, and did not track the flight-line/deck jet noise hazard and its residual mishap risk. These conditions may contribute to a hazardous environment of high noise exposure associated with jet aircraft that, according to the Naval Safety Center, increases the likelihood of permanent hearing loss to sailors and Marines. PMA265 representatives stated that many flight-deck personnel exceed total daily exposure limits in approximately one launch while wearing hearing protection that provides 30 dBs attenuation
Naval Audit Service Interim Audit Report N2009-0008, 31 October 2008
—————————————————————————————————————————————— USN (& USAF) currently not compliant with the following standards:
•DoD Design Criteria Std., MIL-STD-1474D, Noise Limits, page 65, para 4.2.1, Aircraft Noise
•DoDI 6055.12, Hearing Conservation Program
•OPNAVINST 5100.23F, Navy Occupational Safety and Health Program Manual
•NAVMEDCOMINST 6260.5 Occupational Noise Control & Hearing Conservation
•AFOSH STD 48-19, Hazardous Noise Program
•AFOSH STD 161-20, Hearing Conservation Program
•OSHA 29 CFR, Occupational Noise Exposure •85 dBA, 8 hrs, 3 dB/doubling exchange rate
USD 5 Aug 01 Memo, Dr. Gansler to ASN & ASAF: “I request you make investing in hearing protection a top(S&T) priority…and a Defense Technology Objective
Need for jet noise reduction at the source –the engine –is clear, immediate and compelling –Noise induced hearing loss risk to our service members –Community jet noise issues
Our RTT F/A-18 Jet Noise Reduction Program –chevrons –seeks to demonstrate and transition this affordable technology; Now is the time to strike –Jet noise goal of up to 3 dBA reduction
E2S2 Symposium –May 2009
Speech interference associated with aircraft noise is a primary cause of annoyance to individuals on the ground. The disruption of routine activities such as radio or television listening, telephone use, or family conversation gives rise to frustration and irritation.
As an example of the sensitivity, a 1 dB increase in background sound level from 70 dB to 71 dB yields a 14 percent decrease in sentence intelligibility.
Similarly, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Hearing, Bioacoustics, and Biomechanics (CHABA) identified 75 dB as the minimum level at which hearing loss may occur
“It is more likely that noise-related general ill-health effects are due to the psychological annoyance from the noise interfering with normal everyday behavior, than it is from the noise eliciting, because of its intensity, reflexive response in the autonomic or other physiological systems of the body.” Psychological stresses may cause a physiological stress reaction that could result in impaired health.
Near an airport in Stockholm, Sweden, the prevalence of hypertension was reportedly greater among nearby residents who were exposed to energy averaged noise levels exceeding 55 dB and maximum noise levels exceeding 72 dB, particularly older subjects and those not reporting impaired hearing ability (Rosenlund, et al. 2001). A study of elderly volunteers who were exposed to simulated military low-altitude flight noise reported that blood pressure was raised by Lmax of 112 dB and high speed level increase (Michalak, et al. 1990).
A 1999 study conducted on Portuguese aircraft-manufacturing workers from a single factory reported effects of jet aircraft noise exposure that involved a wide range of symptoms and disorders, including the cardiac issues on which the Ponce School of Medicine study focused. The 1999 study identified these effects as VAD.
Consequently, one comes to the conclusion that establishing and enforcing exposure levels protecting against noiseinduced hearing loss would not only solve the noise-induced hearing loss problem, but als any potential nonauditory health effects in the work place.” (von Gierke 1990) Although these findings were specifically directed at noise effects in the workplace, they are equally applicable to aircraft noise effects in the community environment.
In the recent release (2002) of the “Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, and Guidelines for Schools,” the American National Standards Institute refers to studies that suggest that loud and frequent background noise can affect the learning patterns of young children The studies referenced by ANSI to support the new standard are not specific to jet aircraft noiseand the potential effects on children. However, there are references to studies that have shown that children in noisier classrooms scored lower on a variety of tests. Research on the impacts of aircraft noise, and noise in general, on the cognitive abilities of schoolaged children has received more attention in recent years. Several studies suggest that aircraft noise can affect the academic performance of schoolchildren.
Specifically, elementary school children attending schools near New York City’s two airports demonstrated lower reading scores than children living farther away from the flight paths (Green, et al. 1982). Researchers have found that tasks involving central processing and language comprehension (such as reading, attention, problem solving, and memory) appear to be the most affected by noise (Evans and Lepore 1993; Hygge 1994; and Evans, et al. 1995). It has been demonstrated that chronic exposure of first- and second-grade children to aircraft noise can result in reading deficits and impaired speech perception (i.e., the ability to hear common, lowfrequency [vowel] sounds but not high frequencies [consonants] in speech) (Evans and Maxwell
As a measure of stress response to aircraft noise, authors have looked at blood pressure readings to monitor children’s health. Children who were chronically exposed to aircraft noise from a new airport near Munich, Germany, had modest (although significant) increases in blood pressure, significant increases in stress hormones, and a decline in quality of life (Evans, et al. 1998). Children attending noisy schools had statistically significant average systolic and diastolic blood pressure (p<0.03). Systolic blood pressure means were 89.68 mm for children attending schools located in noisier environments compared to 86.77 mm for a control group. Similarly, diastolic blood pressure means for the noisier environment group were 47.84 mm and 45.16 for the control group (Cohen, et al. 1980).
Mammals in particular appear to react to noise at sound levels higher than 90 dB, with responses including the startle response, freezing (i.e., becoming temporarily stationary), and fleeing from the sound source. Many studies on domestic animals suggest that some species appear to acclimate to some forms of sound disturbance (Manci, et al. 1988). Some studies have reported such primary and secondary effects as reduced milk production and rate of milk release, increased glucose concentrations, decreased levels of hemoglobin, increased heart rate, and a reduction in thyroid activity.
One such study, conducted in 1983, suggested that 2 of 10 cows in late pregnancy aborted after showing rising estrogen and falling progesterone levels. These increased hormonal levels were reported asbeing linked to 59 aircraft overflights.
A similar study reported abortions occurred in three out of five pregnant cattle after exposing them to flyovers by six different aircraft (U.S.Air Force 1994b). Another study suggested that feedlot cattle could stampede and injure themselves when exposed to low-level overflights (U.S. Air Force 1994b).
Terrestrial Mammals Studies of terrestrial mammals have shown that noise levels of 120 dBA can damage mammals’ ears, and levels at 95 dBA can cause temporary loss of hearing
High-noise events (like a low-altitude aircraft overflight) may cause birds to engage in escape or avoidance behaviors, such as flushing from perches or nests (Ellis, et al. 1991). These activities impose an energy cost on the birds that, over the long term, may affect survival or growth. In addition, the birds may spend less time engaged in necessary activities like feeding, preening, or caring for their young because they spend time in noise-avoidance activity
Property Values Property within a noise zone (or Accident Potential Zone) may be affected by the availability of federally guaranteed loans. According to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and Veterans Administration (VA) guidance, sites are acceptable for program assistance, subsidy, or insurance for housing in noise zones of less than 65 DNL, and sites are conditionally acceptable with special approvals and noise attenuation in the 65 to 75 DNL noise zone and the greater than 75 DNL noise zone.
Noise Effects on Historical and Archaeological Sites Because of the potential for increased fragility of structural components of historical buildings and other historical sites, aircraft noise may affect such sites more severely than newer, modern structures. Particularly in older structures, seemingly insignificant surface cracks initiated by vibrations from aircraft noise may lead to greater damage from natural forces (Hanson, et al.1991).
Wyle Labs, Aircraft Noise Study for Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and Outlying Landing Field Coupeville, Washington B-46 November 2004 WR 04-26