Silencity

The Truth About Noise

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A common lament:

Dyckman’s deafening daily drumbeat: A local resident is sick of the noise.

Ann Votaw writes about New Yorker’s number one complaint: noise.   Trying to understand out how to stop the noise in her neighborhood, she contacted Arline Bronzaft, a leading environmental psychologist who advised five mayors on the consequences of noise pollution, who stated that “[n]o other city in the United States is more aware of intrusive sound than New York.”  Ms. Bronzaft lauded the city’s 311 system, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the police department “for their dedication to the New York City Noise Code,” she acknowledged that 311 was effective at collecting metrics but was unsure of “how the system executes solutions leading to relief.”

New York City’s Noise Code and 311 system are good steps in combating noise pollution, but the focus must shift to enforcing the code and punishing offenders.  Until noise polluters understand that there are consequences for their actions, they will continue to make life hellish for those around them.

Thanks to Daniel Fink, M.D., a noise pollution activist in the Los Angeles area, for the link.  Dr. Fink serves on the board of the American Tinnitus Association and is the interim chair of Quiet Communities’ Health Advisory Council.

Sure, noise is detrimental to health, but is there a health benefit to silence?

Short answer?  Maybe.

To learn more about the early research on silence and health, read How Prolonged Exposure to Sweet, Blessed Silence Benefits the Brain.

This really is a must read:

The Loudest Sound In The World Would Kill You On The Spot, by

The article is a tour de force about sounds we can hear, sounds we can’t hear, and sounds that can kill.  Ok, the last bit is a passing reference, but the article is fascinating.  Click the link.  You’re welcome.

This would have been great if you were a Beyonce fan:

Beyonce gig was heard eight miles away.

But not so much if you’re not a fan.

Q: If the concert can be heard eight miles away, what is the sound system doing to the ears of the concert goers?

A: Invest in hearing aid companies.  Sadly, that will be a growth industry.

Efforts to expedite airplane noise studies for JFK and LaGuardia airports:

Schumer urges Port Authority to expedite noise studies addressing “airplane noise being emanated over the communities closest to John F. Kennedy International Airport on the South Shore of Queens such as the Five Towns and several others, and LaGuardia Airport on the North Shore of the borough.”

Yet more mystery noises:

Mysterious noises plaguing Southern California town baffles residents.

Unlike some of the whistles or hums heard in other parts of the world, the mystery sound in Alhambra, California is described as a “loud, booming noise that sounds louder than a firecracker explosion.”  Residents say there have been about 100 of these explosions since February of this year.

Fox News being Fox News, the article closes with this inane tidbit:

[Town resident] Saunders is interested to see how long the booms will be a mystery. But whether the noise is something extraterrestrial, she expressed some doubt, according to NBC Los Angeles.

“I believe that anything’s possible, but I don’t think these are aliens,” Saunders said.

If we had to guess, the logical explanation would be police or military weapon testing.  But it’s just a guess.

Tragic if true:

Study shows that coffee impedes hearing recovery from noise.

For those of us who love coffee, this study gives us one more reason to fight back against noise.

Thanks to Quiet Communities, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting our health, environment, and quality of life, for the link.

No surprise here:

.Noise Complaints Rising In New York City.

New York City has a noise code [pdf warning].  It’s pretty comprehensive and is looked to as a model for other cities.  So why the rise in noise complaints?  One reason the article notes is this: Police said writing noise complaint tickets is to an officer’s discretion.

Police probably do not have the training and equipment to properly monitor noise complaints, and noise is probably low on the priority list.  If cities are going to seriously address noise pollution, they need to have a designated team of professionals to investigate noise complaints and issue citations.  Until that happens statutes will rarely be enforced and noise polluters will continue unabated.