Noise and Health
Noise pollution itself can be defined as being a “…displeasing human, animal or machine-created environmental noise that disrupts the activity or balance of human or animal life.” –Source: Wikipedia
For numerous people negatively affected by CN Rail’s operations, the most significant problem is the trend to a more nocturnal-based operation which place it squarely at odds with one of the most basic requirements of human existence, namely, sleep. Night operations are routinely conducted in the absence of noise mitigation measures, without whistle cessation relief, and without set limits that acknowledge international standards on acceptable night-time noise levels for human health, sleep, and well-being.
The situation is made all the more frustrating for sleep-deprived CN neighbours when the freight being moved in the dead of night has sat at a standstill throughout the previous day, when its movement would cause significantly less impact on the residential area affected. It is our position that this mode of operation is unsustainable, and the premise of expecting residential interests to absorb noise levels well in excess of recognized standards is unreasonable.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states on their Environment and health / Noise page that: “Excessive noise seriously harms human health and interferes with people’s daily activities at school, at work, at home and during leisure time. It can disturb sleep, cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects, reduce performance and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour.”
In Europe, noise pollution is increasingly falling under scrutiny. The World Health Organization notes in their Transport and health page that “While transport has a key role in the economy, concern is increasing about the social sustainability of current transportation policies and how they can harm human health and the environment”.
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