April 1, 2002
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Circuit City, seller of excruciatingly loud boom car equipment, subwoofers, car alarms, and huge screen TVs, is the winner of April’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America. Circuit City also contributes to the nation’s noise crisis by sponsoring decibel competitions and maintaining infernal levels of noise in their stores.
Each year, Circuit City installs more than one million boom car systems–those brutal, incredibly loud cars with powerful bass systems that can be heard from a mile away.
According to Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America, “Circuit City celebrates noise. Their ads for subwoofers promise ‘bass that’ll loosen your fillings.’ They brag about a stereo system’s ‘peak power.’ They celebrate images of boom cars ‘driving through your neighborhood playing music so loud the dishes in your cupboard rattle.'”
Mark Huber, an anti-noise activist in Richmond, Virginia, stated that “the passengers in a boom car will certainly suffer from noise-induced hearing loss–but that’s not the only danger. The high volume of noise inside the passenger compartment can mask the sound of emergency vehicles and reduce the reaction time of the driver. The extreme bass concussion waves are a dangerous distraction to other drivers.”
Last year, Circuit City sponsored 37 dDRAG competitions, where cars and drivers compete for the highest volume. One boom car owner conceded that he doesn’t listen to his own car stereo system much, because “I’d go deaf.”
Circuit City also makes huge profits selling car alarms–pointless instruments of civic poison that deter nothing other than a good night’s sleep.
Rueter also noted that Circuit City stores are extraordinarily loud: “Go into a Circuit City store, and you think you’re in hell. The noise levels are astounding. Everything is cranked up to ear-splitting levels.”
All this auditory assault is extremely harmful. Dr. Alice Suter, an audiologist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, stated that noise causes “high blood pressure, peptic ulcers, cardiovascular deaths, strokes, suicides, degradation of the immune system, and impairment of learning. Noise is also associated with an increase in aggression and a decrease in cooperation.” The American Psychiatric Association reports that noise is related to chronic fatigue syndrome.
“Circuit City is all about noise,” said Rueter. “And noise is a killer.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens group dedicated to reducing noise pollution. Previous “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Richmond, Virginia and Youngstown, Ohio. Noise Free America’s web site is http://www.noisefree.org.