April 1, 2016
For immediate release
Chapel Hill: April 27 is the 21st annual International Noise Awareness Day—a time to encourage citizens to take action against bothersome noise where they work, live, and play.
The United States is a very noisy country. Americans are bombarded with noise from loud motorcycles and loud car stereos. Many neighborhoods experience constant noise from leaf blowers, lawn mowing, horn honking, car alarms, and dog barking. Movie theatres, restaurants, and stores often blast noise at their customers.
Much of American culture celebrates loudness. Virtually every weekend, there are contests throughout the nation to create the loudest car stereo system. Huge-screen televisions and outdoor speaker systems are common fare in suburbia. Many sports fans brag of being “Loud and Proud.”
The loudness of American life is very damaging. Prolonged exposure to loud noise can cause sleep loss, hearing loss, ringing of the ears, heart disease, and aggravated behavior.
Excessive noise violates an individual’s right to peace and quiet. Municipalities should pass and enforce strong anti-noise ordinances. Congress should reestablish the federal noise pollution control office. The EPA should strictly enforce existing regulations against excessive motorcycle noise. There should be a nation-wide ban on gas-powered leaf blowers. The nation needs to quiet down.
A good first step in creating a more peaceful world is to join Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet (www.noisefree.org). Members of Noise Free America lobby at the local, state, and national levels for stronger noise enforcement and reduced levels of noise. Reduced noise levels would greatly improve the health of individuals and communities.