Cleveland Plain Dealer

April 19, 2012

Sunday is Earth Day — a day to reflect on the wonders of nature and the need to protect the Earth. Since Earth Day’s inception in 1970, the United States has taken great strides to reduce air and water pollution and to safeguard the land.

However, during this same period, noise pollution — another major threat to environmental well-being — has increased significantly. Americans are currently pounded by excessive noise from loud car stereos, motorcycles without mufflers, leaf blowers, airplanes, Muzak, barking dogs, car alarms, sports stadiums, nightclubs, car horns and train horns. Our nation is getting louder all the time.

All of this noise is extremely harmful. Excessive noise is related to sleep deprivation, hearing loss, aggravated behavior, chronic fatigue, tinnitus and heart problems. A Census Bureau report indicates that noise is Americans’ No. 1 complaint about their neighborhoods and the No. 1 reason people wish to move. Excessive noise is a violation of a person’s right to the peaceful enjoyment of his or her own home.

It is time for the nation to take action to reduce the scourge of noise. Local governments should pass strong anti-noise ordinances, which the police should strictly enforce. Congress should re-establish the Office of Noise Abatement and Control within the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA should enforce the Noise Control Act of 1972, which prohibits loud motorcycles.

I encourage all peace-loving individuals to join Noise Free America, a national nonprofit organization devoted to noise reduction. Working together, we can create a quieter, more peaceful world.

Robert Carillio Cleveland