Train Stabling Facility: Effects of noise and light on birds and humans.

Proposed Train Stabling in Seaford.

The facility will be 22/7 with the noise of air compressed brakes as 24 trains are shunted around the facility to be parked, maintained or cleaned. It will be brightly lit up all night.
We have two things to consider here, light and noise and the impact on the health of the human community due to the close proximity of residents and the migratory birds that travel to the wetlands every summer. The proposed facility is a mere 870 metres from the RAMSAR listed Seaford Wetlands and it should be noted that failing to do an EES breaks the Migratory Bird Agreements with Japan, China and Korea.
Please consider the information below and ask that there is a cautionary approach taken for this massive infrastructure.

For the human population noise is pervasive in everyday life and can cause both auditory and non-auditory health effects. Our understanding of molecular mechanisms involved in noise-induced hair-cell and nerve damage has substantially increased.Evidence of the non-auditory effects of environmental noise exposure on public health is growing. Observational and experimental studies have shown that noise exposure leads to annoyance, disturbs sleep and causes daytime sleepiness, affects patient outcomes and staff performance in hospitals, increases the occurrence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and impairs cognitive performance in schoolchildren.

For the migratory bird population
1          Artificial noise hinders bird’s reproduction
2          Birds rely on their hearing to avoid danger
3          Noise pollution caused by human activity interferes with birds’ hearing ability
4          Artificial noise masks calls from other birds, a signal of whether predators are present
5          This chronically stresses mother birds and nestlings
6          Tense adults spend more time guarding their nests and less time feeding their chicks, which affects the young
7          As a result, birds nesting near noisy environments have smaller chicks and lay fewer eggs that hatch
8          Chicks in loud areas also have reduced growth and body size
9          Birds exposed to constant noise pollution suffer from chronic stress
10        Such birds have highly reduced levels of the stress hormone called corticosterone
11        Low levels of the stress hormone occur as a reaction to intense stress as the body tones down levels of the hormone to protect itself
•           The condition is similar to humans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Then we come to the matter of the impact on human health by Artificial Light at Night ( ALAN.)
It has frequently been reported that exposure to artificial light at night may cause negative health effects, such as breast cancer, circadian phase disruption and sleep disorders.Several observational studies showed that outdoor ALAN levels are a risk factor for breast cancer. Exposure to artificial bright light during the nighttime suppresses melatonin secretion, increases sleep onset latency (SOL) and increases alertness. Circadian misalignment caused by chronic ALAN exposure may have negative effects on the psychological, cardiovascular and/or metabolic functions. ALAN also causes circadian phase disruption, which increases with longer duration of exposure and with exposure later in the evening. It has also been reported that shorter wavelengths of light preferentially disturb melatonin secretion and cause circadian phase shifts, even if the light is not bright. This literature review may be helpful to understand the health effects of ALAN exposure and suggests that it is necessary to consider various characteristics of artificial light, beyond mere intensity.

(PDF) Effects of artificial light at night on…. Available from: [accessed Aug 21 2018].

I also cite an article re Impact of ALAN on human health: A literature review of observational and experimental studies applied to exposure assessment conducted by
YongMin Cho, Seung-Hun Ryu, Byeo Ri Lee, Kyung Hee Kim, Eunil Lee & Jaewook Choi

Exposure to artificial light at night (ALAN) has become increasing common, especially in developed countries. We investigated the effect of ALAN exposure during sleep in healthy young male subjects. A total of 30 healthy young male volunteers from 21 to 29 years old were recruited for the study. They were randomly divided into two groups depending on light intensity (Group A: 5 lux and Group B: 10 lux). After a quality control process, 23 healthy subjects were included in the study (Group A: 11 subjects, Group B: 12 subjects). Subjects underwent an NPSG session with no light (Night 1) followed by an NPSG session randomly assigned to two different dim light conditions (5 or 10 lux, dom λ: 501.4 nm) for a whole night (Night 2). We found significant sleep structural differences between Nights 1 and 2, but no difference between Groups A and B. Exposure to ALAN during sleep was significantly associated with increased wake time after sleep onset (WASO; F = 7.273, p = 0.014), increased Stage N1 (F = 4.524, p = 0.045), decreased Stage N2 (F = 9.49, p = 0.006), increased Stage R (F = 6.698, p = 0.017) and non-significantly decreased REM density (F = 4.102, p = 0.056). We found that ALAN during sleep affects sleep structure. Exposure to ALAN during sleep increases the frequency of arousals, amount of shallow sleep and amount of REM sleep. This suggests adverse effects of ALAN during sleep on sleep quality and suggests the need to avoid exposure to ALAN during sleep.

Supporting Studies re the affect of light on migratory birds
“Birds have to use things to orient. One of the tools in their kit is celestial cues, so they can use the star maps like early navigators,” Susan Elbin, director of conservation and science at NYC Audubon, says. Believing they’re flying toward starlight or something similar, nocturnal migrants are drawn to the dazzling display, where they end up wasting crucial energy flying around and sounding off in distress.
Matt Watson, David Wilson, and Daniel Mennill of the University of Windsor recorded the flight calls of migrating birds passing overhead during the 2013 fall migration in Southern Ontario Canada, comparing sites with and without ground-level artificial lights. Analyzing 352 hours of recordings, including the calls of at least 15 bird species, they found that significantly more flight calls were recorded at lit sites than at dark sites. “By pointing microphones at the night sky, we can survey migratory birds based on the quiet sounds they produce in flight,” says Mennill. “This simple technique offers a special opportunity because we can resolve particular species of birds, or groups of species, using a fairly simple technology.”
“It was exciting to find that even low-level anthropogenic lights affect call detections from migrating birds,” adds Watson. Their findings have several possible explanations—ground-level lights could be disorienting birds, causing them to call more often and decrease their altitude as they attempt to straighten themselves out, or they could actually be attracting additional birds, as has already been documented with higher-elevation lights. In either case, artificial lights are causing migrating birds to waste energy, which could affect their chances of surviving their journey.
“Anthropogenic light has profound effects on wild animals. For migratory birds, we know that lights on top of skyscrapers, communication towers and lighthouses disorient and attract birds,” says Mennill. “Our study reveals for the first time that even low-intensity lights on the ground influence the behaviour of migratory birds overhead.”
Excessive or misdirected artificial light at night (ALAN) produces light pollution that influences several aspects of the biology and ecology of birds, including disruption of circadian rhythms and disorientation during flight. Many migrating birds traverse large expanses of land twice every year at night when ALAN illuminates the sky.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *