Sleep disturbance, anxiety, depression, hearing loss, contamination of soil, air and water causing various health ailments; these are factors that officials should consider before issuing Conditional Use Variances and special permits that allow industrial operations in or adjacent to residential areas.
Aside from the obvious raucous industrial noise-making operations that are pretty much universally considered in violation of residential zoning (although not enforced in Habersham County) my research has revealed that there are sound frequencies produced by machines that are not even really audible but produce vibrations that disturb your sleep, cause loss of hearing, anxiety, stress, fatigue and even panic attacks.
Infrasound is especially detrimental because it generally cannot be heard by the human ear but it can cause serious physical problems, even death if intense enough. I have read that, depending on the type of industrial operation, serious monitoring must be done by the government to protect the local environment which is why the EPA has significant regulations assigned to these operations.
For example, in the metal processing industry, many carcinogens are used such as chromate, lead, cadmium, cyanide, PCBs and asbestos which require special containment and disposal to protect contamination of soil, wastewater and surface water. If there should be any spillage or a natural disaster such as flash flooding it could have an immediate impact on local well water and creeks. Even dangerous fumes due to the burning of various paints and chemicals from daily operations are released into the local environment.
These factors should make it imperative to operate industrial businesses away from residential homes in appropriate locations where the facilities are properly built to contain and protect the environment from noise, toxins, chemical exposure and where the operations are more likely to be properly monitored.
Otherwise, allowing these operations in residential areas does not protect the well-being of citizens and it literally condemns the surrounding property. I would like to believe that we can trust the government for these protections but so far life has not proven that to be true.