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I appreciate State Journal's coverage of the proposal to bring F-35 fighter jets to Truax Field. I am a nurse serving a neighborhood adjacent to the airport and am deeply concerned about the public health implications of this program.

We know from the draft environmental impact statement that the frequency and intensity of noise pollution would significantly increase. What is not being discussed, however, are the serious health risks associated with persistent noise pollution, including: poor quality sleep, negative impacts on mood and mental health, decreased school performance, and increases in stress hormones, blood pressure and heart disease.

The environmental impact study acknowledges there will be “significant disproportionate impacts to low-income and minority populations as well as children.” But what the report does not consider is how poverty compounds these risks. Families living around the airport do not have the power to simply move and oftentimes rely on open windows for cooling. And some of the lowest income communities may not qualify for mitigation.

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As a nurse and concerned citizen, I call upon U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, and Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Black Earth, to oppose the F-35 program at Truax. This is not anti-military. This is pro-health. Alternate sites have significantly fewer public health impacts.

Kimberley Neuschel, Madison

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