Raleigh News & Observer

April 18, 2012

April 22 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 honking 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.

Excessive noise is a violation of a persons right to the peaceful enjoyment of their 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 reestablish the Office of Noise Abatement and Control within EPA.

I encourage all peace-loving individuals to join Noise Free America (www.noisefree.org), a national non-profit organization devoted to noise reduction. Working together, we can create a quieter, more peaceful world.

Ted Rueter