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In your news round up (BMJ 12th November) you report on the Israeli
Air Force grounding flights over Gaza because the sonic booms created by
the aircraft were criticised by the Palestinian health ministry for
‘causing miscarriages and heart problems’.
A medline literature search using the Dialog Datastar interface and
using ‘sonic boom’ as the search term revealed 71 papers and I reviewed
the available abstracts / titles. Apparently, sonic booms cause no
negative effects on the breeding of gray seals nor do they damage avian
eggs nor do they have a hugely detrimental effect on sleep. They can be
annoying but so are Palestinian mortar shells landing on Israeli
communities which was the reason for the deterrent overflights. There is
no mention of miscarriages, heart problems or any other medical problems
for that matter.
Perhaps your journalist can ask the Palestinian health ministry to
elaborate on the negative health aspects of sonic booms.