Dear Editor: We still don’t accurately know what the potential of the F-35s will be to actually cause permanent hearing loss especially for children whose ears are more easily damaged. The data provided only says an average of 70 decibels, which means much of the time the noise will be louder? How much? How loud? The projected noise levels seem to violate both the OSHA guidelines and the HUD guidelines. We need accurate data and projections about what levels, how often, how long, how close to the housing. OSHA says that 84 is high enough to be in the damage zone for damaging hearing loss. HUD guidelines consider noise to be unacceptable at 65. What will be the median level of noise i.e. the level that 50% of the time will be higher than the 70 average? There have been comments that the highest levels would be the same as those at a rock concert. But there is considerable documentation that those levels experienced even for a few minutes can permanent hearing damage. HUD recommends noise attenuation requirements for levels over 65 including outdoor noise. Are these being designed? Should parents forbid their children to play out-of-doors? A little unrealistic especially for older homes that may not have adequate air conditioning. If the trade off for the economic benefits is noise that harms some housing, can funds from those projected economic benefits be used to provide alternative housing for those affected?

Peggy Wireman


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