The 18th Annual International Noise Awareness Day is less than six months away! April 25, 2012 is the big day, and the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) is pleased to once again lead global efforts to promote awareness of the dangers of long-term exposure to noise. Please join professional organizations, community activists, and concerned individuals around the world in recognizing the issue of noise and the threat it poses to our hearing, health and happiness.
How can you get involved? Check out our Noise Center for great ideas to promote noise awareness and healthy hearing practices in your community. Should you need further guidance getting started, please contact Nancy Nadler at the Center for Hearing and Communication in New York at (917) 305-7810 or send an email to nnadler@CHChearing.org.
Read on for a sampling of activities from last year's International Noise Awareness Day (INAD).
17th Annual INAD Highlights
In New York City, home of the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC), last year's INAD fell on one of the first days of true spring weather. As a public service, CHC provided free hearing screenings aboard our mobile audiology van located at the greenmarket in Union Square. CHC audiologist Vito Ardito screened a total of 76 people and referred 24 of them for follow-up.
Representatives from CHC talked to hundreds of people about hearing loss and gave away countless sets of earplugs. When presented with earplugs, many people express confusion (what, why?), then vague interest (it’s free…), and finally enthusiasm (I won’t have to listen to construction/snoring/loud subway passengers!).
Upon learning that we represented CHC and what we do, there were issues people wanted to talk about most. First, they wanted to know more about what levels of city noise are damaging: were they really in danger of permanent hearing loss from sounds from passing sirens and subways screeching to a halt permanently? Interestingly, the second most common issue we heard concerns about from members of the passing public was tinnitus. City residents described buzzing and ringing in one or both ears and wanted to know what, if anything, could be done to end it. We informed people affected by tinnitus of our “Tinnitus Retraining Therapy,” a neurophysiological therapy process in which CHC demonstrates an extremely high success rate.
As usual, independent INAD events occurred all over the globe on the 16th annual iteration of the event. CHC heard from and shared information with several organizations who hosted events and used social media to raise noise awareness.
- The Arab Ship Building and Repair Yard Company in Bahrain commemorated INAD for the third year by disseminating information on the dangers of noise exposure to their workers, and discussed ways to prevent noise or use filters to avoid the incidence of hearing loss. The company also provided free hearing screenings.
- Spain is the second noisiest country (after Japan), and in Barcelona activists discussed the problems of noise from construction, traffic, and nightlife. In particular, residents expressed frustrations that smoking bans—which forces people at clubs, bars, and restaurants to smoke outside—cause noise issues for neighbors. http://almerimarlife.com/international-noise-awareness-day. An estimated seven of 10 Spaniards live w/excessive noise.
- An NGO in Dhaka, Bangladesh called WBB Trust (Working for a Better Bangladesh) has been working to enact policy regarding noise reduction in the country’s cities for a dozen years. The government passed regulations recently, and the organization commemorated INAD while continuing to ensure the new regulations are properly implemented. The Coalition Against Pollution urged the government to uphold a ban on hydraulic horns.
Also around the world:
- A national television company in England announced its intentions to search for neighborly noise disputes in Sidmouth, a small town on the English Channel, to feature in part of a documentary on noisy neighbors. Also here. And Hertfordshire. And Galloway.
- In an “Early Day Motion” on April 27, the UK House of Commons recognized and officially appreciated NoiseDirect, a hotline for British residents to request straightforward advice on noise concerns. NoiseDirect’s Facebook page. NoiseDirect on INAD.
- In Northern Spain’s Valley of Silence in El Bierzo, four-time trial world champion motorcycle racer Adam Raga rode scenic trails on an electric bike much quieter than his typical “moto,” as sponsored by Red Bull. Other article on this.
- In Mumbai, India, artist Veguri Ravindra Babu unveiled his ‘Noise – the Silent Killer’ on INAD. It’s an outdoor sculpture exhibit that highlights the significant stress city noise creates.
- In Mysore, India the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH) observed INAD with a rally starting at the Ayurvedic Hospital. The Hindu published an article about horns.
- A Dubai audiologist warned of the dangers of MP3 players to your hearing on INAD. Same in Algeria.
- On INAD, the German Pro-Rail Alliance called on federal transport minister Peter Ramsauer from the CSU to make traffic noise protection a "top ministerial priority."
- The University of Georgia Hearing and Speech Clinic presented information, earplugs, and coupons for screenings.
- And to mark International Noise Awareness Day on 27 April, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) seek submissions for the new European Soundscape Award, which will recognize innovative solutions to noise problems.
Also of note:
- Here's a famous quote from Dr. William H. Stewart, former Surgeon General of the United States to help you think about noise! "Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience. Noise must be considered a hazard to the health of people everywhere."
- http://www.greenwichcalm.org/apps/profile/72946328/ (Greenwich CALM: Citizens Against Leafblower Mania with INAD mention)
- A funny Tweet
- Hong Kong Hypnotherapy recognizes INAD
- One in six Swiss people suffers from noise-related stress
- American Tinnitus Association recognizes INAD
- The UN in Western Sahara recognizes INAD in regard to the mining industry Press Release MINURSO
- TES (UK teaching community) calls Noise Action Week over INAD
Be sure to email us at nnadler@CHChearing.org to let us know what activities you're planning for 2012!