Defence has informed parents at RAAF Bases Amberley, Darwin and Williamtown childcare centres of an emerging body of international research into the potential effects of noise exposure and children’s health and wellbeing.
As part of Defence’s commitment to providing accurate information on aircraft noise, Defence will now conduct specialised noise assessments at the three bases to help parents to be better informed.
Defence’s senior physician in occupational and environmental medicine Dr Ian Gardner said: “Our continuing noise monitoring program shows that Defence meets Workplace Health & Safety standards for adult exposure to aircraft noise, however there is some emerging research which indicates children may be more sensitive to noise than adults.”
Group Captain Richard Lennon, Director Combat Capability said that most research into noise exposure focused on adults.
“The new research is inconclusive and there are no internationally accepted standards for children,” GPCAPT Lennon said.
“Although any possible effects on children who have attended the centres are likely to be small – and there have been no reports from parents of hearing loss or cognitive processing difficulties – it is a prudent and conscientious decision to advise parents of this research.
“Defence will now conduct noise monitoring using recognised assessment procedures to better understand noise levels at on-base childcare centres at RAAF Bases Amberley, Darwin and Williamtown,” GPCAPT Lennon said.
Defence will inform parents and carers of the results, before considering if any further actions are required by Defence.
Further information on aircraft noise, including data from noise monitoring can be found at http://www.defence.gov.au/aircraftnoise.
Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999