Asheville Citizen-Times

April 20, 2012

Today is Earth Day — a day to reflect on 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.
However, during the same period, the environmental threat from noise pollution has increased significantly. Americans are subjected to excessive noise from loud car stereos, motorcycles, leaf blowers, sirens, car alarms, 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. The Census Bureau reports that noise is Americans’ No. 1 complaint about their neighborhoods, and the No. 1 reason people wish to move. It is time to take action.
Local governments should pass strong anti-noise ordinances, which the police should strictly enforce. Congress should re-establish a federal noise pollution office.

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 (www.noise, a national nonprofit organization devoted to noise reduction. We can create a quieter, more peaceful world.

Ted Rueter