Ongoing dangers to our
health and environment 

The airport is used by a small

percentage of the population,

few of whom are year-round residents,

all of whom could travel here

by less destructive means.

Airplane emissions contain a variety of air pollutants including carbon dioxide and smaller amounts of methane and nitrous oxides. Many of these particles of pollution are tiny, invisible to the eye. If they were larger or in color, people would be made far more aware of the daily dangers to their health and to the environment.

 

Peer-reviewed studies have concluded that it is the ultra-fine particulate matter that is the main culprit to human health from aviation emissions, since the tiny particulates can be absorbed though the mouth and nose, can become wedged deep in the lung and may enter the bloodstream. 

The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems.

Exposure to such particles can affect both your lungs and your heart.

 

Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including:

  • premature death in people with heart or lung disease

  • non-fatal heart attacks

  • irregular heartbeat

  • aggravated asthma or COPD

  • decreased lung function

  • increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing.

 

People with heart or lung diseases, children, and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure.

Symptoms of particle exposure

Even if you are healthy, you may experience temporary symptoms to particle exposure such as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and coughing, phlegm, chest tightness and shortness of breath.  (Source: EPA)

FB FEED master 4.16 x 4.16 TOXIC carbon

Lead is toxic to all life.

Lead is especially dangerous

to children under five years

and to pregnant women.

Of particular concern is avgas, fuel which also contains lead. Avgas is used in small piston engine planes or small helicopters.

Lead was removed from automobile fuel beginning in the 1970s when lead was identified as a stunningly toxic metal. However, is widely used in aviation fuel in the U.S. today. 

More than 50 percent of the lead in the air in the United States today is from emissions from piston-engines planes.

Despite avowals for years by the FAA to approve non-leaded fuel for aviation use in the USA,  propeller plane users are still waiting. 

Nevertheless, unleaded fuel is sold in the U.S. by Swift Fuels,  for those who care about the environment. But local pilots at EH Airport, when the town offered to subsidize the small additional cost per gallon, declined. Some planes could use the fuel immediately, others would require an inexpensive retro fit which will be required anyway when the FAA actually does something about unleaded fuel. Swift Fuels is believed not suitable for a few primarily vintage planes.  

https://www.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead#effects

Piston and avgas.png

While dangers of lead have been made known since

1970s, recent studies are increasingly alarming.

 

In August 2021, a study was released on the affect of lead on communities near Reid/Hillview Airport in California.

What parents had long suspected and feared, the study confirmed: the health of their youngest children was indeed greatly endangered by flight activity at the airport. 

 

The airport is currently under FAA grant assurances but the worried community is asking that the airport be closed.  

 

https://sanjosespotlight.com/santa-clara-county-votes-to-eliminate-leaded-fuel-at-reid-hillview-airport/

Lead persists in the environment. 

Recently lead has been found in human remains in Italy, dating back 5,000 years. 

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/lead-has-been-getting-humans-bones-5000-years-1809784 

What are the effects of lead on human health?

Once taken into the body, lead distributes throughout the body in the blood and is accumulated in the bones. 

Depending on the level of exposure, lead can adversely affect the nervous system, kidney function, immune system, reproductive and developmental systems and the cardiovascular system.  Lead exposure also affects the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.  The lead effects most likely to be encountered in current populations are neurological effects in children.  Infants and young children are especially sensitive to lead exposures, which may contribute to behavioral problems, learning deficits and lowered IQ.

(Source: EPA)

 

Noise impacts health in many ways

The incessant loud low-flying aircraft create noise and visual pollution, impinging on the mental well-being of thousands of Long Islanders living beneath flight paths on the East End and all the way to NYC. 

For example:

▪  cardiovascular effects that may arise as a consequence of stress caused by noise;

  sleep disturbance, where sleep patterns are disturbed and conscious and premature awakenings may occur;

 noise related annoyance that can cause negative emotions;

 cognitive impairment in children, which can lead to a subsequent impairment in the quality of life.

Source: http://partner.mit.edu/projects/health-effects-aircraft-noise