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William Wallace: Loudness of America damages health

  • jacoblund


Sunday, April 22, 2018
Loudness of America damages health

April 25 is the 23rd annual International Noise Awareness Day — a time to encourage citizens to speak up for their right to peace and quiet where they work, live and play.

The United States is a very noisy country. Americans are bombarded with noise from loud car stereos and loud motorcycles. Many neighborhoods are constantly bombarded with noise from leaf blowing, lawn mowing, horn honking, dog barking and car alarms. Stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and shopping malls often blast loud music at their customers.

American culture is a celebration of loudness. There are hundreds of weekend, loud, car stereo contests around the nation. Outdoor speaker systems and huge-screen televisions are common fare in suburbia. Many professional sports teams encourage their fans to be “loud and proud.”

The loudness of American life is very damaging. Prolonged exposure to loud noise may cause ringing of the ears, heart disease, aggravated behavior, hearing loss and sleep deprivation.

Excessive noise violates an individual’s right to peace and quiet. Cities, counties and states should enact strong anti-noise ordinances and statutes. Congress should reestablish the federal noise pollution control office.

The Environmental Protection Agency should enforce existing regulations against altering a motorcycle’s exhaust system. There should be a nationwide ban on gas-powered leaf blowers — which are very loud and emit toxic fumes. The nation needs to quiet down.

Finally, individuals who support peace and quiet are encouraged to join Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet (www.noisefree.org).

William Wallace

Florence