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Friday, November 29, 2019

Noise: Hazardous to Your Health - Breathing Space Blog

"Noise Busters" by Richard and Joyce Wolkomir writing in Smithsonian Magazine said, "Natural quiet is now preserved in only 7% of Arizona's Grand Canyon national park and nowhere in Hawaii's volcano's National Park."

"Among city dwelling Americans, 87% are exposed to noise so loud it has the potential to degrade hearing capacity over time. But you will not necessarily find piece in the suburbs or country side either, not with the onslaught of leaf blowers, snow blowers, lawn mowers, chain saws, snow mobiles, power boats, and all terrain vehicles.

They went on to say, "Researchers have demonstrated that noise can raise your blood pressure and change your blood chemistry. Adrenaline levels can rise, indicating the imposition of stress."

Did you know that "noise" referring to unwanted sound is derived from the Latin word for nausea? In 1997 Automobile traffic was 360% of 1960 levels, while large truck traffic was 430% of 1960 levels. Airliner travel in 1998 was 600% of 1960 levels and air cargo traffic was 2460% of 1960 levels.  Today, across the board, noise levels are even higher.

In 1960 there were no leaf blowers, no jet skis, no car alarms, and few snowmobiles. Noise on one side of a school has been shown to diminish children's test scores, compared with that of children on the other side of the school in a relatively noise free zone, who otherwise have the same academic capabilities and demographic profile.

Noise. Who needs it?

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Jeff Davidson, MBA, CMC, Executive Director -- Breathing Space Institute  © 2019
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