by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
This editorial in The Toronto Star discusses the adverse health impacts of noise and Toronto’s efforts to work towards quiet.
The Quiet Coalition’s Bradley Vite is quoted, saying “[i]t took decades to educate people on the dangers of second-hand smoke…[w]e may need decades to show the impact of second-hand noise.”
Mr. Vite may be correct. It took too long for those responsible for protecting public health to take action to clear the air in restaurants, stores, workplaces, and buses, planes, and trains. People can still smoke, but not where others are forced to smell or breathe their exhaled smoke involuntarily.
I am confident that if enough people complain to enough elected officials about noise, laws and regulations will be written and enforced to make the world a quieter place.
The scientific evidence is overwhelming. There can be no rational doubt that noise causes hearing loss and has major non-auditory health effects, including sleep disruption, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and death.
Dr. Daniel Fink is a leading noise activist based in the Los Angeles area. He is the founding chair of The Quiet Coalition, an organization of science, health, and legal professionals concerned about the impacts of noise on health, environment, learning, productivity, and quality of life in America. Dr Fink also is the interim chair of Quiet Communities’ Health Advisory Council, and he served on the board of the American Tinnitus Association from 2015-2018.