Controlling Noise is In Your Hands
The impact of noise on hearing, health and the quality of life can be no longer be disputed. Volumes of literature exist to show the hazards to hearing from repeated exposure to noise. Numerous studies can be found to document that noise, like other stressors, is related to negative physical and psychological changes in humans. Individuals and communities no longer accept that noise is a natural by-product of an industrial society.
Grassroots activist groups are being organized at an ever-increasing rate to address the issue of noise in their own communities. In fact, noise was the leading complaint among New Yorkers in the recently established quality of life hot-line. Additionally, noise is not just a concern for adults. For our children who are exposed to an onslaught of noise at home, in recreational activities and in the community, the risk can be widespread.
To address the widespread, insidious impact of noise on hearing, health and the quality of life, the Center for Hearing and Communication sponsors International Noise Awareness Day every April, in conjunction with professional organizations, community activists and individuals around the world. Each year, professional organizations and community groups from around the country play an important role in this campaign by providing free hearing screenings, disseminating information and hearing protection, and helping to promote the importance of reducing noise in our lives. The response has been overwhelming from participants and the media. The message is clear - Stop That Noise!
April 24, 2013 will mark the 18th Annual International Noise Awareness Day.
Among the many activities planned for this event:
Quiet Diet Follow the steps for the Recipe for a Quiet Diet. Highlight the day with 60 Seconds of No Noise from 2:15 - 2:16 p.m., regardless of location. This one-minute period will highlight the impact noise has on our hearing and health while giving participants a reprieve from the everyday noises around them.
Free Hearing Screenings Private audiologists and otolaryngologists and speech and hearing clinics will provide free hearing screenings to the community. Mobile Audiological Units will also be used where available.
Dissemination of Hearing Protection Hearing protection will be distributed on this day at hearing screenings, town meetings, places of business and on college campuses to promote immediate hearing conservation. Hearing protection has been generously donated by E-A-R/Aearo Company.
Town Meetings to "Sound Off on Noise" Community activists, noise experts, local police departments, representatives from the Department of Environmental Protection and local politicians will be invited to town meetings, which will provide a forum for community residents to voice their concerns about noise.
Publicity Participants on International Noise Awareness Day will hold press conferences in their local areas. Mayoral proclamations will be secured. Press releases and public service announcements on television and radio stations will involve the media and help to promote the important message that noise hurts.
To Get Started
You, too, can participate in International Noise Awareness Day. To make the strongest impact, we recommend that community activists and/or groups work with professional organizations concerned with noise. The following steps may be of assistance:
- Professionals Contact local grassroots anti-noise community groups.
- Community Groups Contact local hospitals, speech and hearing clinics or Universities for support.
- Analyze Your Local Community Code Attend local community meetings and evaluate codes and enforcement procedures. Look for other individuals at these meetings with similar concerns. Contact your local Department of Environmental Protection and/or Police Department for information about the noise code and its enforcement.
- Coordinate Free Hearing Screenings Work with speech and hearing clinics, Universities or hearing professionals to provide free hearing screenings in your community. (Most hospitals and Speech and Hearing Centers provide free public hearing screenings as a matter of course. Scheduling these screenings on the date of INAD will help to promote International Noise Awareness Day).
- Spread the Word Educate friends, co-workers, community board members, local police, your patients, etc. about the harmful effects of noise on hearing and health. Encourage the use of hearing protection, when appropriate. Encourage consideration of each other's right to peace and quiet.
- Post The Noise Center's Fact Sheets Educate the public about the potential danger of noisy toys to children's hearing; the impact of aircraft noise; the harmful effects of noise on health; and the risk of loud recreational activities to our hearing.
- Contact Local School Districts Determine if there are any anti-noise programs currently in place in the curriculum.