Ruth Cadbury MP challenged the Government to review its decision to go ahead with Heathrow expansion following the release this week of new World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on noise. Following her challenge to Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling in the Commons, Ruth said:
'‘These new guidelines by the WHO reaffirm just how damaging Heathrow’s third runway would be. Around one and a half million people are already affected by health-damaging noise and expansion will take it over 2 million. That’s just one of several reasons we need to scrap the third runway- it’s simply going to be too harmful on our health”.
-The new guidelines released by the WHO are the first comprehensive update since 1999. The guidelines claimed that governments should lower what is considered as harmful levels of noise, and that aircraft noise should be reduced below 45 dB Lden, as aircraft noise above this can lead to damaging health effects. -
- The second recommendation from WHO was that aircraft related noise can be more damaging, and more disturbing than other sources of noise pollution such as Road and Rail transport. Whilst the WHO guidelines are not legally enforceable, they demonstrate the adverse, and harmful effect that Heathrow expansion will have on noise pollution. -
- Other health impacts of Heathrow expansion include; an increase in air pollution- the area around Heathrow is already the second biggest hot spot for nitrogen dioxide, -
- An increase in CO2 emissions making Heathrow the biggest emitter of Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the country. -
- The WHO guidelines reaffirm that it would be much less damaging to invest in either Gatwick’s second runway, or in regional airports such as Birmingham, Leeds-Bradford or Edinburgh.