February 1, 2010
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Albany: The Extractor Corporation, located in South Elgin, Illinois has won this month’s Noisy Dozen Award from Noise Free America for manufacturing a completely annoying, irritating, useless piece of equipment: the “Suitmate,” which extracts water from swimming suits. These noise-making devices are now a fixture in thousands of American locker rooms.
The firm’s web site states that “the Extractor Corporation was founded in 1983 for the express purpose of developing, manufacturing and marketing a completely new product, which was a swimsuit water extractor.” Developing the product took two years, and the first “Suitmate” was inflicted on the American public in December 1985: “Since the sale of the first unit, almost twenty thousand units have been sold and can be found in all fifty of the United States and over forty-eight countries. It is found in health and sports clubs, YMCAs, YWCAs, colleges and universities, graduate schools and high schools, Jewish Community Centers, wellness centers, hotels and motels, and any place where a swimming pool or spa might be found.”
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, commented that “these electric water-extraction machines make an incredible amount of noise. Nowadays, you can’t be in a locker room without one of these noise-making machines creating an awful sound every few minutes. They give me a headache. And the noise is completely unnecessary. People can easily wring their swimsuits with their bare hands. When I was a kid, locker rooms were equipped with non-electric squeegee machines. You simply rolled your swimsuit through the machine and it removed the water–without making any noise whatsoever.” Oftentimes, Rueter stated, “the low-tech approach is the best and quietest approach.”
Rueter noted that “the YMCA and the YWCA should be ashamed of themselves. Every new ‘Y’ facility now boasts these obnoxious noise-makers. Y’s have become very noisy places, with blasting, thumping music and electronic gizmos throughout the building. Noise making is not consistent with the Y’s Christian mission. Christianity promotes peace, quiet, and serenity–not irritating, useless noise.”
Health clubs throughout the United States are very noisy places, Rueter said. “Studies have found that 80 percent of health clubs consistently play music which exceeds 105 dBA over one-hour periods. Sixty percent of health clubs use music which exceeds 110 dBA. Such extreme noise poses grave dangers.”