Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Does noise pollution get under your skin?

Does noise pollution get under your skin? On the next Your Call we'll talk about our increasingly loud world with Garret Keizer, author of The Unwanted Sounds of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise. Noise, defined as unwanted sound, can cause stress, disease, and violence. So what does it say about our society that we keep producing more and more things that keep our ears buzzing?

Join us live at 11 or send us an email at What rights do we have to make noise? And what rights do we have to the absence of noise? It's Your Call with Rose Aguilar and you.

Garret Keizer, author of The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise.

Click to Listen: Does noise pollution get under your skin?


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for addressing this!

Noise is a huge problem in our society--with much bigger ramifications than we realize.
My mother was an educator and insisted that I study in undisturbed quiet. I know I couldn't
have gone to an Ivy League university without those conditions. I had to be able to think
deeply and logically--you can't do that when it's noisy.

Most people don't know that there are a number of laws against
excessive noise, mostly unenforced. If music is audible from a car stereo
beyond a certain number of feet, that offense is citable. In condominium law,
there is a term "quiet enjoyment," which is a condition that a dweller legally has a right to.

We will not solve our problems as a society until we realize that we are all in this together and
that the common good should be our highest priority. That means being sensitive to others' needs and changing our activities when our activities hurt them We must also realize that we have degenerated
from standards of civility and decency, and that we are paying the price in chaos, ill health, anxiety, and
anger. The fact that a noisy motorcycle (exhibitionism) can set off a noisy car alarm (selfish materialism) is insanely comic--Kafkaesque!
I think it's obvious most excessive noise goes back to overweening individuality--individuality
badly, destructively, expressed

I agree with everything your guest said. I also recommend a book called, The Spirit of Silence.

And by the way, I love loud rock n' roll --have been in a number of bands myself.
But I do that in a night club or a rehearsal studio -- away from where it would bother others!


L. van der Sluis said...

Thank you for the program on noise pollution with author Garret Keizer. I am very sympathetic to those who have problems with loud sounds disturbing them but my particular issue is with low frequency sound that has been interfering with my ability to sleep for over 14 years now. I believe, in my case, this is coming from motors running all night at a local sewage treatment plant. The sound is not particularly loud so there seems to be nothing that can be done to mitigate it. But for me it has been a devastating effect as I am kept awake by it(sometimes hours) almost every night! Inside my house the effect is a very subtle but terribly disturbing vibration that I feel in my head and upper chest. This is like torture! I know other people are complaining of similar problems all over the world but they are evidently NOT getting much done about it.There is a report that came out in 2003 called " A Review of Published Research on Low Frequency Noise and its Effects" by Dr. Geoff Leventhall for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in England ( it doesn't seem to address the problem of the subtle disturbance created by distant sound which can prevent sleep! The interests of local government and plants that run such motors only seems to be with preventing very loud sounds which would damage the eardrums of those working near them. This is of course a very important aspect of regulations but I am hoping that the welfare of other members of communties will be addressed in the near future as well! This problem of low frequency sound is referred to as "Hum". There are various sites on the internet (probably more since I last looked) that talk about this problem...including the first one I was told about which is called "the Kokomo Hum". I would be very interested to know if others out there have a similar problem. I'm guessing that this is not addressed in Mr. Keizers book, but I would be interested to knoe if he has learned about it during his research. Thank you for bringing up this serious problem of sound pollution on Your Call Radio.