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More humbug than hum over the Zug Island noise

Aerial view of Detroit River
Aerial view of Detroit River
Aaron Headly/Wikimedia Commons

Recently the mysterious noise disturbance coming from the vicinity of
Zug Island
was examined due to its deleterious effects on residents
within its vibration field. Since most of those suffering happen to
be on the Canadian side of the Detroit River, namely in the west end
of Windsor and its suburb, the town of La Salle, many living on our
side of the border may be tempted to slough it all off. Seriously,
now: does anyone honestly believe that noise pollution, any more or
less than that contaminating water or air, merely stays in one place?
If smoke belching from Zug's steel plants doesn't have any impact on
citizens of River Rouge as well as those farther downriver, they
either live under a dome or are holding their breath a long time.
Similarly, noise vibrations causing the so-named Windsor Hum, more
aptly the Zug Island Hum, would logically be afflicting those a lot
closer to ground zero.

Just as many feared, the powers that be of River Rouge who, earlier
into the investigation, were assuring all concerned of their intent to
discover the exact source of the hum that is making people physically
ill, causing lack of sleep and impairing their quality of life, are
suddenly backing off from their determination to act. The Mayor of
River Rouge, Michael Bowdler, and the city attorney, David Bower,
according to an article in the Windsor Star on Monday, had both given
their word previously to do whatever they could to solve the problem.
Now, they claim the city lacks the monetary resources to do anything
further. In other words, no action is going to be taken whatsoever.

Aside from the fact that, quite justifiably, the afflicted citizens
are annoyed and angry over such backtracking, and believe that US
Steel and other interests are behind it, we all have a reason for
concern. Noise and vibrational pollution is not a matter to merely be
shrugged off. For decades, people in industrial regions have had to
just put up with these annoyances as the cost of having employment in
their areas. It was a good thing, they were told, that the factories
were running, it was good for the country. Sure, employment is a
necessary and beneficial thing for us all. However, at what price do
we write off human health? Hearing is afflicted; vibrations over a
long period may also cause nausea and severe headaches.
Sleeplessness, and all the hazards that entails, including on the
safety of drivers and those operating machinery, has its effects, too,
on health. Even relationships suffer when people aren't getting
sufficient rest.

As quality of life deteriorates, life itself goes
downhill. Worn-out individuals are going to have lowered immune
systems and therefore more easily contract communicable diseases.
Emotional and mental stress overloads can cause violent actions and in
some cases even substance abuse, addictions and suicide.

The only silence, unfortunately, that victims of the Zug Island Hum
are going to get is going to be that of those who were supposed to try
to find a way to end the noise. That will turn out to be every bit as
harmful as the vibrations themselves.

For more information on the Zug Island Hum, see the Windsor Star's story:


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