From the Health Subcommittee of the Environmental Impact
   Committee of the Regional Coalition on Airport Affairs
                        Prepared by:
                   D. Dennis Hansen, M.D.
                 Lee A. Sanders M.D., Ph.D.

                    With assistance from:
   Mark Benedum (Associate Administrator Highline Hospital)
            Rose Clark (Concerned local citizen)


Fiction:  Airport noise is a minor annoyance and people living near the
airport should be "good sports" and learn to ignore it.

Fact:  Airport noise results in a significant increase in community use
of tranquilizers and sleeping pills.  Airport communities have an increased
rate of alcoholism,  and admissions to psychiatric hospitals.  Airport-
related noise can literally drive people mad.


Fiction:  Communities near the airport offer affordable housing and
would be suitable for young families.

Fact:  Infants  born to mothers living under the flight path have lower
birth weights and higher likelihood of prematurity.  There is some
experimental evidence to suggest that serious birth defects are more
likely  when the mother is exposed to high noise levels during pregnancy.
Airport communities are unsafe for pregnant women and their children.


Fiction:  Although it is annoying, airport noise will not affect your
physical health.

Fact:  Excessive noise has been positively associated with the development
of hypertension, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar, all of which place
people at increased risk of heart disease and stroke.


Fiction:  Sea-Tac airport has become so quiet in recent years that it no
longer impacts learning in our schools.

Fact:  Speech and communication are affected when noise levels exceed
60 decibels. Excessively noisy schools have been shown to adversely affect
the ability to solve simple problems as well as to learn mathematics and
reading.  Actual noise measurements in several Highline Schools in 1992
exceeded 85 decibels in the class room and 100 decibels in the school yard.
Since the beginning of jet traffic at Sea-Tac airport, standardized test
scores in the Highline School District have fallen from among the highest
in the state to the third from the bottom.


Fiction:  Airport-related noise is merely an annoyance to  neighboring
citizens and has minimal impact on sleep patterns or sense of well-being.

Fact:  On a typical recent weeknight at Sea Tac Airport, at least 110
planes including more than 70 jets took off or landed between 10:00 pm and
7:00 am.  The level of noise produced severely impacts thousands of people
in South King County.  Disturbance of sleep is one of the most significant
sources of distress caused by airport noise.  Airport noise causes
difficulty in attaining deep sleep, shortened REM sleep, and premature
arousal from sleep.  Both deep and REM sleep are thought to be
physiologically important.  Sleep deprivation leads to impaired reaction
times, fatigue, lethargy, decreased efficiency, anxiety and desire to be
left alone.


Fiction:  Sea Tac Airport is only a minor contributor to regional air

Fact:  A 1991 State Department of Ecology study indicated that SeaTac
Airport operations generate up to 5% of all air pollution in King County.
The bulk of this pollution occurs over a very small, but densely populated
area (less than 0.25% of the area of King County) leading to relatively
high and potentially damaging concentrations of various pollutants and
particulates in communities surrounding  Sea-Tac Airport.


Fiction:  Detailed studies indicate no increased risk for development of
cancer in communities nearest the airport.

Fact:  The study of cancer and its causes is highly complex.  To date, no
detailed comparative studies of actual cancer incidences have been performed
to address this crucial question. 1990  U.S. Census Tract data programs
necessary for beginning such studies will not be available to the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center until early in 1993.

                   NOISE- GENERAL EFFECTS

Noise is considered to be a non-specific biologic stressor, eliciting a
response that prepares the body for "fight or flight". The physiologic
mechanism thought to be responsible for this reaction is the stimulation by
noise of the brain's reticular activation system [1].  Neural impulses
spread from the reticular system to the higher cortex and throughout the
central nervous system. By means of the autonomic nervous system, noise can
influence perceptual, motor, cognitive, behavioral, glandular,
cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal function.  "Noise promotes stress and
anxiety, disrupts sleep and is a major threat to human health" [2].

                         [Figure 1]

                        Mental Health

Over 60% of people in heavily noise-impacted areas complain of moderate to
severe annoyance with airport noise. Chronic annoyance results in increased
need for and use of sedative hypnotic medications and an increase in the
frequency of nervous breakdowns.  Studies have shown a marked increase in
the use of tranquilizers and sedatives around jet airports [3,4], and an
increase in the rate of alcoholism and its associated medical problems [5].
Experts have said that  noise heightens aggressive behavior and dampens
helpful impulses, which may in part explain an increased incidence of crime
and domestic violence in airport communities [6].  Many studies have shown
an increased number of psychiatric admissions from noise-impacted
neighborhoods around jet airports [7,8,9,19,11].  More than simply being
annoying, airport noise can have a measurable impact on mental health (see
Figure 2).

                   Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in this country.
Hypertension is second only to smoking as a cause of cardiovascular
morbidity and mortality.  Workplace noise of 85 to 95 dBA produces sustained
hypertension in monkeys, even after the stimulus is withdrawn [12].
Systolic and diastolic hypertension has been produced experimentally in
elderly people exposed to recorded aircraft noise [13].  Hypertension has
also been demonstrated in school children under a jet flight path [14].
Prescriptions for antihypertensive medications gradually doubled in one
airport community after the building of a new jet runway [15].  Similar
observations have been made in other communities [16].  The result of excess
hypertension in airport noise-impacted communities may well be an increase
in heart disease and strokes.  A study of 6000 noise-impacted people near
the Amsterdam Airport found an increase in the use of cardiovascular drugs,
an increase in the medical treatment of heart disease, and an increase in
pathological heartshape on x-ray in people exposed to aircraft noise [17].
One author has reported a 15% increase in the incidence of stroke near the
L.A. International Airport compared to quieter communities [18].  Another
study has failed to substantiate this finding [19]. In addition to raising
blood pressure, noise can affect at least two other important risk factors
for cardiovascular disease.  A large epidemiologic study on road noise found
that noise-exposed people had higher blood cholesterol levels, and higher
blood glucose levels, both of which are associated with heart disease and
stroke.  The public health implications of these findings in a
noise-exposed, urban population could be enormous [20].  Note the striking
effects of increasing noise levels on mental and cardiovascular disease
(Figure 2).

                         [Figure 2]
Pregnancy and Birth Defects

Heavily noise-impacted areas around jet airports are probably unsafe for
pregnant women.  Several studies have shown reduced birth weights and a
higher rate of preterm labor and premature births in airport communities
[21,22,23].  Studies have shown decreased fertility rates and increased
birth defects when laboratory animals were exposed to loud noises during
pregnancy [24]. One study has found an increase in the rates of neural
tube defects (spina bifida and anencephaly) in children born to women living
under the flight path of a large international airport [25].  Another study
found a similar increase but felt it was statistically insignificant [26].

                  Gastrointestinal Disease

The effects of chronic noise exposure are not limited to the cardiovascular
system.  The Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) has reported that
people working in noisy areas have 5 times as many stomach and duodenal
ulcers as the general population [27].  One study found that prescriptions
for antacids, commonly used to treat ulcers and related acidpeptic problems,
nearly doubled in a community after the building of a new jet runway [28].
Another author found a 100% increase in the rate of cirrhosis of the liver
related to alcoholism around a large international airport [29].


Experts have also claimed that loud and disturbing noises trigger changes
in circulating hormones and may lower resistance to disease and infection

                    Learning Disabilities

Several Highline schools (up to 6000 students) are located in heavily noise-
impacted areas.  Sound measurements done in schools in the Highline district
in 1992 recorded levels of 85 dBA in the classrooms [31]. Noise levels
outside the schools reached 100 dBA.  Noise begins to interfere with speech
and learning when it exceeds 60 dBA.  Although airport authorities would
prefer to describe the noise as a day-night average (LDN) of 65 to 75
decibels, the actual effect in the classroom is similar to starting a
gasoline lawnmower or running a food blender every 2 to 3 minutes.  Studies
have shown that students in noisy classrooms are more likely to read at
least 1 year below grade level compared to students in quiet classrooms
[32]. Another study found that children in schools exposed to airport noise
were more likely to give up on a task, and less likely to succeed at simple
problem solving compared to students in quiet schools.  These effects were
most marked in students who had been attending the noisy school the longest
[33].  Mathematics testing was carried out in the Highline School District
during the 1970's by Dr. Breysse of the University of Washington. He found
that students in the noisiest schools did significantly worse on standard
mathematics testing when compared to students studying in quieter schools
in the same district.  Highline School District M.A.T scores have fallen
from among the best in the state to the 3rd lowest in the state
concomitantly with the growth of jet aircraft traffic at Sea-Tac airport.
For manystudents, the noise is not limited to the school environment.  Many
students live in homes impacted by aircraft noise. They arrive at school
tired and inattentive from sleep disturbance and are expected to listen and
concentrate in class rooms where noise levels significantly interfere with
their education [31].

                   Sleep and Speech Disruption

Electrical brain activity as measured by theelectroencephalogram (E.E.G.) in
dicates four states of consciousness according to certain brainwave patterns


    BETA  >13 hz       Normal state of alertness, stress, anxiety
    ALPHA  8-12 hz     State of light relaxation, super
                       learning, positive thinking
    THETA  4-7 hz      Deep relaxation, meditation, increased memory and
    DELTA 1-3 hz       Deep sleep, lucid dreaming

                        [(Figure 3]

Sleep researchers described the drowsy period just preceding Stage 1 sleep
as being characterized by a slowing of the alpha rhythm (8-12 hz)
accompanied by slow rolling eye movements (SEM).  As Stage 1 sleep is
attained, the slowed alpha rhythm begins to break up and is replaced 
predominantly by an even slower, smaller amplitude (lower voltage) theta
rhythm (4-7 hz) associated with unconsciousness.  Deep sleep and lucid
dreaming (Stages 3and 4 Sleep) follow in association with rapid eye
movements (REM) and a delta rhythm (1-3 hz) [34,35]. Disturbance of sleep is
probably the most widespread source of distress caused by noise.  Indoor
threshold for falling asleep is 35 - 40 dBA.  The indoor threshold for
arousal from deep sleep is 70 dBA.  Children are less susceptible and the
elderly are more susceptible.  Disruptions of sleep lead to symptoms of
fatigue, lethargy, decreased efficiency, anxiety, and desire to be left
alone [36].  According to one sleep study, 10% of people living 19
kilometers from Kennedy Airport reported difficulty sleeping compared with
60% of those within 6 kilometers of the airport. Falling asleep takes
considerably longer with peak levels of 60 dBA and ambient levels of 50 dBA.
Forty to 50 dBA are capable of changing the stage of sleep without producing
complete awakening.  The threshold for complete awakening is variable but
violently fluctuating noise is the worst.  Complete awakening can be seen
with an increase of only 10 dBA over baseline.  A study in a community in
France done before and after the opening of a new noisy road found that
noise levels of 40 +/- 3 dBA and peaks of only 55 +/-5 dBA caused people to
take 16 minutes longer to fall asleep.  Since deep and REM sleep are thought
to be physiologically important, sleep impairment may well be damaging.
People living in very noisy houses did worse in measurements of unprepared
reaction time after noisy nights and showed improvement after simple sound
insulation.  This research supports the recommendation that night time noise
levels not exceed 35 dBA [36].  Ldn 55 from aircraft noise is equivalent to
50 daily episodes of aircraft noise with a peak level of 81 dBA.  Noise can
interfere with sleep at or above 40 dBA and will interfere with speech
communication at or above 50 dBA.  Each disruption lasts for about 1 minute,
and there are at least 25 million U.S. citizens exposed to Ldn 55 or higher.
At Dallas Fort Worth airport, Ldn 55 is not reached until 6 miles from the
end of the runway.  Intermittent noise such as aircraft noise is much more
annoying and disruptive than continuous noise such as noise generated from
traffic.  Aircraft noise at an Ldn of 55 could cause interference with sleep
and communication whereas Ldn 55 automobile noise would be below the
threshold levels capable of suchinterference [37].

                       [Figure 4]

Additional information regarding sleep disturbance and its impacts appeared
in the 3/15/92 edition of the Seattle Times in Bob Ortega's article entitled
"Life Beneath the Roar -- Escaping Jet Noise Means Sleeping in the Basement
and Turning on the Radio"   The following is a brief excerpt from "Life
Beneath the Roar" [31]:

                 "If you change the quality
               of sleep on a chronic basis,
               in the long run it will affect
               your health," says Peter
               Breysse, professor emeritus of
               environmental health at the
               University of Washington.
               Even when people aren't
               awakened, he said, noise can
               disrupt the dream and deep-
               sleep cycles.

                 On a typical recent week
               night, at least 110 aircraft,
               including more than 70 jets,
               landed or took off from Sea-
               Tac between 10:00 pm and
               7:00am. According to Port
               records, among them were at
               least 24 Boeing 727s and other
               louder, older jets.

                Within two miles of the
               airport, consultants to the
               port have measured peak noise
               from older jets reaching 100
              decibels - about as loud as a
               diesel locomotive trundling
               directly across the street.

                "People believe they get used
               to night-time noise," said
               Alice Suter, a Cincinnati-
               based research audiologist.

               But studies show that even
               after five years of exposure
               to aircraft noise, physical
               responses - higher blood
               pressure, higher stress levels
               - continue..."

                        AIR POLLUTION

The Seattle Tacoma International Airport Air Pollution Contribution Study of
May, 1991 (generated by the WashingtonState Department of Ecology)
identified the airport as being entially a major contributor of air
pollutants to South King County.  The worst case scenarios produced
estimates of carbon monoxide, fine particulates, nitrous oxide and benzene
far in excess of recognized safe levels.  According o the study, which
utilized computer models, the airport probably contributes up to 5% of the
total air pollutants in ing County (including both the contributions of air
craft and motor vehicles going to and from the airport).  Since the bulk of
the emissions probably occurs on airport property or within its immediate
vicinity, the concentration of various pollutants is expected to be far
higher than in other parts of the county, since the area of the airport
is less than 0.25% of the total area of King County (relative areas
calculated by Don and Beth Williams, personal communication).  The health
effects of releasing these pollutants and particulates in high concentration
would be expected to lead to increased incidence of asthma and other
respiratory diseases.  Benzene is a known carcinogen, especially in settings
of repeated exposures over a long period of time (see next section re
cancer).  Gordon Baker, M.D. (allergist) has observed and has begun
documenting an increased incidence of respiratory problems including
bronchitis and asthma near the airport (personal communication).  In a
recent talk to Sea Tac area citizens on 9/11/92,  Dr. Baker stated that many
of his local patients complain of the same problems encountered in areas of
high industrial air pollution or commonly seen during air thermal inversions.
These problems include bronchitis, asthma, decreased lung function and
capacity, emphysema, sinusitis, rhinitis, sore throat, chest congestion,
wheezing and runny eyes or ocular (eye) burning.   In spite of the
significant concerns long-raised by local citizens and by the 1991
Department of Ecology Study, the Port of Seattle (P.O.S.) currently "has no
data" regarding its emission levels (quoting P.O.S. representative Michael
Feldmann during the Air Quality Study meeting of 8/24/92; see Appendix I).
However, the Port is planning to perform "Pilot Studies" of "Air Quality"
-- probably beginning in the near future (possibly in Fall, 1992). At the
recent planning meeting for the upcoming "Air Quality Studies", there seemed
to be considerable initial differences of opinion between Port officials and
the representatives from both the E.P.A. and the Puget Sound Air Pollution
Control Agency over whether to use badge monitoring (passive diffusion) or
the more expensive but more generally accepted evacuated canister sampling
methods.  Please refer to the report of that planning meeting included as
Appendix I for further details.


"Cancer" implies malignant neoplasm (new growth).  Most cancers have the
capability of killing their host either by direct spread from their site of
origin or by metastasis to distant body sites via the blood or lymphatic
systems.  The study of cancer is highly complex in part because there are so
many types of cancers for each human organ system.  In addition, the causes
of cancer seem to be multifactorial -- often involving multiple different
physiologic insults working cooperatively through repeated exposures over
a longperiod of time.

Among the known causes of cancer (carcinogens) are the following:  ionizing
radiation (X-rays, gamma-rays), viruses (Human papilloma virus with cervical
cancer, Epstein Barr virus with nasopharyngeal cancer and with lymphoma,
etc.), chemicals (benzene with leukemia, aniline dyes with bladder cancer,
hydrocarbons in soot with scrotal cancer in chimney sweeps, etc.),
ultraviolet light with various skin cancers, tobacco smoke with lung cancer,
asbestos with malignant mesothelioma, etc.  Due to the long latency period
between exposure to chemicals such as benzene and the development of
disease, it may not be possible to detect an increased incidence of cancer
in airport communities.  The problem is compounded by the fact that
thousands of people with previous lengthy exposures have left the Sea Tac
area over the past 20 years.  (1200 families were moved out of the immediate
Sea Tac community north end between about 1973 - 1978 according to Ms. Rose
Clark, (personal communication).  None of these people will show in any
current epidemiologic studies).  Dr. Lee Sanders has requested the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (F.H.C.R.C.) to conduct preliminary
studies to determine the relative proportions of breast cancer, colorectal
cancer, lung cancer, leukemia and lymphoma in the areas surrounding the
airport.  In these initial studies, there were no definite increases in the
ratios of one cancer compared to another, suggesting that at least the
relative proportions of these diseases are no different near the airport
than in non-airport-impacted communities.  The study of proportional
variations of various cancers is a useful but relatively crude screening
tool.  David B. Thomas, M.D., Dr. P.H., of the University of Washington
Division of Public Health Sciences and head of the Epidemiology Program at
the F.H.C.R.C. states that more  complete study would involve significant
time and resources.  In order to study possible relationships between
airport pollution and cancer, the denominators (number of people by sex and
age) in each census tract or an appropriate group of census tracts around
Sea Tac Airport would need to be evaluated for various cancer types and then
proper comparisons of actual incidences of each cancer type could be made to
the incidences encountered in the surrounding 13 county area.  The
F.H.C.R.C. Epidemiology Department will not have the necessary 1990 census
data programs to begin such a study until about February, 1993.  Such
studies should probably be provided by and funded by the Port of Seattle as
part of any complete environmental impact statement, and ideally include an
attempt to track the already-evacuated populace.  The potential inability to
document increased cancer incidence does not necessarily mean that it does
not exist.  The estimated concentrations of benzene in some airport
communities (although not measured) may at times exceed 24,000 parts per
trillion.  The acceptable source impact level for new sources proposed by
WAC is 0.63 parts per trillion.  Out of interest, Hartfield airport in
Atlanta is in Clayton County.  Clayton County had more than twice the
national rate of lung cancer.  A grand jury has been charged with conducting
studies of the increased cancer risks [38].


This paper is not intended to be an exhaustive review of the literature
regarding airport-related health issues.  Many additional small studies can
be cited supporting our conclusions and there are a few that do not.  Small
studies often lack the sensitivity required to demonstrate an effect (Beta
or Type 2 statistical errors) and should not be used to refute a cause and
effect relationship between airports and public health.   Even relatively
small effects of airport noise and pollution on public health may be
significant when large numbers of people are exposed.  The weight of
scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that airports
are harmful to the health of people in surrounding communities.  The health
problems related to airport proximity are greatly compounded at Sea-Tac due
to its relatively small size.   Compared to most other airports with similar
freight and passenger traffic, Sea-Tac has only one-fifth the land area, and
there are a disproportionate number of schools and homes in heavily noise-
impacted areas.  Put simply, citizens around Sea-Tac are more likely to have
airport-related health problems because the airport has an inadequate clear
zone.  Money earmarked for expansion of Sea-Tac would be better spent on
alleviating the noise and pollution effects already felt by airport
neighbors from existing operations.  Cost estimates of further expansion of
Sea-Tac must include more than the prices of fill dirt, concrete and
construction.  The additional numerous impacts of airport expansion on human
health should be considered carefully before any decision is made to build.
When these impacts and other community-born costs are thoroughly considered
along with the actual construction costs, expansion of Sea-Tac airport
probably will not be financially feasible or ethically reasonable.

1 Coen et al. Nonauditory Effects of Noise on Behavior and Health. J. Social
Issues 37:36-70 1977

2 Dr. Alice Suter, Science News Vol. 140

3 Grabdjean et. al.  Ref. 214 The Effects of Noise on Man second edition
Karl Kryter 1985.

4  Knipschild, P et al.  Medical Effects of Aircraft Noise: Drug survey.
International Archives of Occupational andEnvironmental Health,  40:197-200,

5  Meechan, W  Shaw, N.  Effects of Jet Noise on Mortality Rates. British
Journal of Audiology 13:77-80, 1979.

6 Dr. Jeffrey D. Fisher and Dr. Paul A Bell and Dr. Andrew Baum in
Environmental Psychology

7  Kryter, K.D. Association of Heathrow Airport Noise with Psychiatric
Admissions. Psychol Med 20:1022, 1990.

8 Abbey-Wickrama, L et al Mental Hospital Admissions and Aircraft Noise
Lancet 2:1275-1277, 1969

9  Jenkins, L Psychiatric Admissions and Aircraft Noise from London Airport.
Psychol Med 11:ISS 4 765-82, 1981.

10  Kryter, K.D. Aircraft Noise and Social Factors in Psychiatric Hospital
Admission Rates:  A Reexamination of Some Data Psychol. Med May:20(2): 395-4
11, 1990.

11 William, W.C. Smith, H. G., Effects of Jet Aircraft Noise on Mental
Hospital Admissions. British J. of Audiology 11:81-85, 1977.

12. Peterson, E.A. et al. Noise Raises Blood Pressure without Impairing
Auditory Sensitivity. Science 211:1450-1452, 1981.

13 Ising et al. Effects of Noise From Military Low-level Flights in Humans
part 2 In: Berglund, B. dBA Lindvall, T., eds. Noise as a Public Health
Problem, Vol 4, Swedish Council for building Research, Stockholm.

14 Cohen, Sheldon et al. Physiologic, Motivational, and Cognitive Effects
of Aircraft Noise on Children. American Psychologist 35:3 p231-243, 1980. 

15 Drug survey. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental
Health,  40:197-200, 1977.

16 Archives of and Environmental Health 1977.

17  Knipschild et al. in Ref. 215 The Effects of Noise on Man second edition
Karl Kryter, 1985

18 Meechan, W  Shaw, N.  Effects of Jet Noise on Mortality Rates. British
Journal of Audiology 13:77-80, 1979.

19 Frerichs, R et al Los Angeles Airport Noise and Mortality-- Faulty
Analysis and Public Policy  American Journal of Public Health 70:357-362,

20 Babisch, W. dBA, J.E.J, The Caerphilly and Speedwell Collaborative Heart
Disease Studies, In: Berglund, B.Lindvall, T., eds. Noise as a Public Health
Problem, Vol 4, Swedish Council for Building Research, Stockholm.

21  Schell, Lawrence M., Environmental Noise and Human Prenatal Growth.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology,56:63-70, 1981.

22  Ando, Y., Hattori, H., Statistical Studies on Effects of Intense Noise
During Human Fetal Life. J. Sound and Vibration 27:101-110, 1973.

23  Ref. 232 The effects of Noise on Man, 2nd ed. Karl Kryter, 1985.

24 Peter S. Strassburg, M. Stress Als Terarogener Faktor. Arzneim Forsch
19: 1106-1111, 1969.

25 Jones, Nowell Tauscher, J.,  Residence Under an Airport Landing Pattern
as a Factor in Teratism.  Archives of Environmental Health 33:10-12, 1978.

26 Edmonds, L.D. et al, Airport Noise and Terataogenisis. Archives of
Environmental Health 34:243-247, 1979.

27 Family Circle 11/9128  Drug survey. International Archives of
Occupational and Environmental Health,  40:197-200 1977.

29 William Meechan, Ph. D.  Human Behavior May 1979.

30 Bruce Rabin, M.D. Professor of Pathology and Psychiatry University of
Pittsburgh School of Medicine Family Circle 11/91.

31 Ortega, B., Life Beneath the Roar, Seattle Times  March 1992

32 Green, K.B., Effects of Aircraft Noise on Reading Ability of School Age
Children, Archives of Environ. Health, 37:ISS1 p. 24-31, 1982 

33 Coen, S. et al. Physiologic, Motivational, and Cognitive Effects of
Aircraft Noise on Children, American Psychologist 35:3 p231-243, 1980.

34 T.H. Budzynski, Ph.D., Selected Research on Light and Sound, Synetic
Systems, p. 15, 1991.

35 Foulkes and Vogel, Mental Activity of Sleep-Onset, Journal of Abnormal
Psychology, 70, 231-243 (1964)

36 Gloag, Daphne.  British Medical Journal 282: 1044-10461980.

37 Kryter, Karl  NASA Reference Publication 1115 (1984) Physiological,
Psychological and Social Effects of Noise.

38 Airport Noise Report, November 29, 1990


Fig. 1.  NASA Reference Publication 1115, 1984, p. 391

Fig. 2.  NASA Reference Publication 1115, 1984 p. 495

Fig. 3.  ref. 34 above

Fig. 4.  NASA Reference Publication 1115, 1984, p. 553

                      APPENDIX I

Report on Planning by the Port of Seattle for Upcoming"Air Quality" Studies
in and Around Sea Tac Airport

This reporter is a pathologist on the medical staff at Highline Community
Hospital (HCH) and a member of the Health Subcommittee of the Environmental
Committee regarding SeaTac Airport expansion.  At the request of Mark
Benedum (our subcommittee chairman) and at the invitation of the Port of
Seattle (POS), I attended the "Airport Air Quality Working Group meeting"
held at Sea Tac Airport on 8/24/92.  The meeting was chaired by Michael
Feldman (POS).  As shown on the attached attendance list, multiple parties
were represented including Department of Ecology (WA), EPA (Region 10),
FAA, Puget Sound Air Pollution Control Agency (PSAPCA), U.W. Department of
Environmental Health, Sea Tac Office Center, City of SeaTac and, of course,
POS.  POS hopes that use of the air quality working group will lend
credibility to any analysis performed.  They profess to want real
credibility and reliability of the studies.  Mr. Feldman stated that the
meeting and pending studies had evolved because of multiple factors
including (1) concerns raised from the 1991 Department of Ecology study
using an "EDMS model" suggesting a significant potential impact of Sea Tac
Airport on regional pollution (with particular reference to possible benzene
"hot spots"),  (2) A letter of concern written by the Medical Staff of HCH
to PSATC,  (3) Recent newspaper articles citing citizen concerns about
possible relationships between Sea Tac Airport and cases of cancer in the
adjacent neighborhoods, and  (4) various comments made at the regional
PSATC hearings regarding citizen concerns about air pollution and fuel
dumping.  It was made clear that the POS wishes to perform "air quality"
and emission studies to evaluate the situation and hopefully to allay
various concerns or to enable the POS to mitigate problems which might
exist.  The clear reference was made by Mr. Feldman that if pollution
problems are found, that a "more efficient" airport including a third runway
might actually improve the situation (no mention being made of added motor
vehicle traffic and 100,000 or more added flights per year!!).  Mr. Feldman
said that the POS has a 1992 budget of up to $50,000 for initial (pilot)
studies.  Multiple bids from several accredited local or regional testing
laboratories had been obtained (ranging from about $35,000 to 55,000).  The
bids involving badge sampling (via passive diffusion) were favored by POS
because that type of testing is about 25% less expensive than using
evacuated canister sampling (or charcoal filter active sampling) followed
by liquid or gas chromatography badge equipment would be less bulky and more
easily and more safely placed in and around the airfield than would canister
systems, according to Feldman.  A map of Sea Tac Airport was presented with
about 10 sites proposed for testing on Airport property.  The POS clearly
wants to do a quick pilot study in 9/92 (using badges) to gather initial
data.  The implication was clear that if a decision is made to proceed with
planning for a third Runway that more funds would be made available for more
comprehensive and complete studies.  September was felt to be a good month
for sampling because of wind and weather conditions, and various committee
members agreed.  Input from the group was welcomed by Mr. Feldman and
included the following:

     1.   Dr. Sanders was concerned that the POS might only study one or two
analytes including benzene and recommended doing a comprehensive analysis
including benzene, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, sulfur
dioxide, particulates, formaldehyde, etc.  Mr. Feldman stated that more
than just one or two compounds would be studied but cited high costs of
studying a large number of pollutants.

     2.   Marsha Lee (EPA) was concerned that badge (passive-diffusion)
monitoring was not as accurate or sensitive or as established as using
evacuated canisters or active sampling of known volumes of air over set
periods of time.  Canister methods can detect down to 1-2 parts per billion.
Michael Morgan (an industrial hygienist from UW Department of Environmental
Health disagreed in part and felt that badge testing was useful if
accurately standardized.  However, Ms.Lee stated that EPA has tried to avoid
passive sampling in almost all of their previous studies.  EPA recommends
time-integrated active sampling methods.  After much discussion and further
input from Gerry Pade (PSAPCA), a consensus was reached that the gold
standard for studies would be the very expensive use of on site gas
chromatography.  The next best method (next most established by previous
studies and also acceptable to the EPA would be to use evacuated canister
sampling or active sampling of known air volumes over charcoal filters).
The least preferred or established method would be using badges (passive
diffusion).  Mr. Feldman will discuss these issues further with EPA. 
Mr. Pade felt that active canister samplers could be readily anchored on
the field and that such methods would add credibility to the studies.

     3.   A final important suggestion made by Mr. Pade (PSAPCA) and
seconded by Dr. Sanders was that the POS should also include some sampling
at remote sites off airport property in order to provide some comparative
data re: pollution levels.  Sites suggested included U.W. Campus, Bellevue,
etc.  POS representatives seemed interested in doing some off site testing
at some point but it wasn't clear if that would be part of a pilot study.
POS said it might test at one of the Highline Schools, corner of 188th and
Pacific Highway etc.. but timing was uncertain.

     Conclusions and Recommendations:

Local citizens, RCAA and Rick Arambaru et. al. should monitor the pending
studies and data very carefully.  If the POS uses only badge monitoring
without parallel canister/active monitoring, questions of validity could
be raised, especially in view of the concerns raised by the EPA and PSAPC
representatives.  Also, if a significant number of types of pollutants from
both motor vehicles and airplanes in and around Sea Tac Airport are not
measured, the study would be less than thorough or comprehensive.  Also,
if enough off-site comparison locations are not studied, the needed
comparative data would be missing or at least incomplete.  Finally, we must
be aware that if pollution problems (and/or fuel dumping problems) are
identified by any of the pending studies, that POS will probably use those
findings to support building a "more efficient" airport including a third
runway as a means of reducing rather than increasing air pollution.