making them more vulnerable to predators. Joanna Lawrence, Natural Science News, reports that researchers have found that “noise pollution prevents songbirds from hearing and responding to alarm calls.” The researchers discovered that anthropogenic noise, “a form of noise pollution caused by human activities,” makes it difficult for the songbirds to hear alarms, leaving them “vulnerable to predation” (i.e., being eaten by other animals). The research showed that the birds’ failure to hear and respond to alarms caused them “to continue feeding in dangerous situations.” More research is needed, adds Lawrence, to “fully understand the ecological impacts of anthropogenic noise.”
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.
Willard company fined for factory noise. The headline seems innocuous enough but the story below is absolutely appalling.
According to The Blade, employees of a yard equipment manufacturer located in Willard, Ohio were exposed to noise that “was in excess of 90 decibels,” leading to permanent hearing loss. The Blade adds that the failure to provide hearing protection “was deemed ‘willful’ by OSHA, which means the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.” As a result of this employer’s malfeasance, employees have suffered permanent hearing loss while the employer walks away with a $77,000 fine.
One hopes that the insultingly low OSHA fine is just the beginning of the financial cost that will be borne by this monstrous employer, as the injured employees will suffer with this loss for the rest of their lives. Whatever one thinks about trial attorneys, a punishing damages award is often the only way to keep others from following this company’s abhorrent behavior.