The Economic Times of India

March 7, 2003

We live in an increasingly noisy world. Many motorcycle riders customize their machines for maximum aural impact, and theatres crank up the volume of movie trailers to get audiences’ attention. However, most folks crave a quieter world.

Ted Rueter is one who hates leaf blowers, boom cars, and Muzak. He holds automobiles’ keyless entry systems in particularly high disdain, since they wake him up in the wee hours of the morning.

WIRED reports that the nonstop sonic bombardment so irritated Rueter, who teaches political science at Tulane University, that he became an anti-noise activist. Rueter is director of Noise Free America, whose expansive legislative agenda calls for actions.

Today’s noise-rich environment can cause physical trauma that leads to hearing loss and tinnitus, phantom “head noise” that can prove debilitating, say experts. They feel that while increased workplace regulation has helped protect workers from hearing loss, on-the-job exposure remains a bigger problem than recreational noise.