The cause of the screeching with the MTA trains could be something different–sounds like squealing brakes to us–but the idea that a transportation authority would make an effort to identify the source of the noise and do something to correct it, that’s priceless. Let’s hope that other transportation authorities consider the aural impact of their trains, light rail, trolleys, and buses going forward.
Motorcycle noise is a personal nemesis. It’s particularly discomforting when (obviously insecure) riders rev their engines at stop lights on smaller streets. City buildings are built one on top of the other, with few gaps on a typical street. The buildings are hard surfaces off of which the noxious motorcycle noise rebounds, making narrower streets into a hellish echo chamber. And to what end? Unless someone can suggest otherwise, it appears this assault on city denizens exists solely because some motorcycle riders enjoy the noise and either refuse to consider the impact on others or get some pleasure out of imposing it them.
Apparently ordinances exist to limit this abusive behavior, but the San Diego residents in the linked article went to their city council to come up with solutions to the problem. Council wisely has requested that the Sheriff’s Department “help enforce noise ordinances while they try to work out a solution to the issue.” We will be watching to see how San Diego deals with this problem.
The article appeared in Huffington Post Canada. Hope they reprint it to the US site.
Not convinced? Then why is hearing loss more prevalent in certain occupations? Healthy Hearing provides a list of the most dangerous occupations to hearing health: Top five occupations causing hearing loss.
As Healthy Hearing points out, “[n]o matter what the source, however, even these occupations that come with a high risk of noise related hearing loss can be made safer with proper precautions.” It is unconscionable that industry and government are aware that these occupations are causing life altering hearing loss and neither is doing enough to stop it.
Check here for upcoming screenings: In Pursuit of Silence
If these catch on maybe people will consider that the better option is to control and limit noise for the general public rather than manage it one person at a time.
Erica Walker, a student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is trying to figure out how all that noise might be affecting its residents. In doing so, she’s discovered that not all sounds in Boston are created equal. Nor are all neighborhoods.
In order to better determine the Boston soundscape, she “started exploring the city at large with a boom mic and a mission: to better understand the distribution of noise in Boston.” In the process, Walker also learned that “each neighborhood revealed its own unique noise structure.”
Walker will be issuing report cards detailing the soundscape of each neighborhood in September, giving Boston residents “the opportunity to find out precisely what might be keeping them up at night, or causing that perpetual migraine, or making them restless.” And that, Walker hopes, is when change may come. “I don’t think these cities will ever be [completely] quiet,” she said. “But they can be less loud.”
David Sikorski, senior editor at Earmilk, an online music publication, has written a must read piece for anyone who loves to listen to live music: Tinnitus, Suicides & Earplugs: Don’t be an idiot. Sikorski states that as senior editor he has “issued a full mandatory requirement for any of our writers to wear earplugs when attending/reviewing any concert or festival on our behalf.” Why? Here’s his answer:
Over 700 million people around the world suffer from some form of Tinnitus or ringing in the ears. This recent flood of self-induced hearing damage from oversized studio headphones, grandiose speaker systems and silly notions carried over from ill-advised past generations – equating decibel levels to enjoyment – have created a music industry epidemic.
When it happens, it just happens. You’ll leave the vibrating walls of the after hours spot, that divey “rock n’ roll night club” or even after maxing the sub in your car to peep Slime Season 3. Suddenly, the ringing in your ear, that used to be temporary isn’t.
And yes, though rare, for some people plagued with tinnitus the “ringing in their ears becomes [so] unbearable, that death becomes the only relief.”
So how do you balance your love of live music with the need to protect your hearing? Sikorski suggests earplugs. We would add that musicians and music venues need to consider what they can do to stop the permanent damage they are inflicting on fans.
Thanks to Hyperacusis Research Limited for the link. Hyperacusis Research Limited is a non-profit charity dedicated to funding research on what causes hyperacusis with the goal of developing effective treatment.
Do you go out to clubs or concerts? Then this information is for you: How loud is loud?
Plug ’em is a British Tinnitus Association campaign that “aims to encourage wearing earplugs at gigs, festivals, clubs – basically anywhere you’re exposed to potentially dangerous noise levels.” They simply want to save millions of people from the pain and frustration of tinnitus and other hearing injuries. How? By educating the public about the dangers of loud noise, removing the stigma about wearing ear plugs, and encouraging bars and other venues playing loud music to give patrons free ear plugs.
No one is telling you not to go out to enjoy live music. Protect your ears so you can enjoy live music your entire life.
What prairie dogs tell us about the effects of noise pollution. The short answer:
With increasing levels of man-made noise in the environment, animals are having to contend more and more with external stimuli which can draw their attention away from these key tasks. And the consequences of failing to focus on lurking dangers can be deadly.
And for those who wonder why we should worry about the effects of noise pollution on prarie dogs, there is this:
At the end of the day, every species has a finite attention span and, depending upon the source of disturbance and the task at hand, can get distracted. In an increasingly noisy world, this will no doubt have implications for other animals as well as humans.
Noise pollution effects health and well-being. A discussion about controlling the noise around us is long past due.