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26th Annual Int’l Noise Awareness Day April 28, 2021

Help raise noise awareness and importance of quiet

The Center for Hearing and Communication is pleased to announce that the 26th Annual International Noise Awareness Day (INAD) will take place April 28, 2021. Read on for a look at the origin of INAD and celebrations of the past.

INAD was established by the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) to raise awareness about the harmful effects of noise on hearing, health and quality of life. Since its inception in 1996, International Noise Awareness Day has grown to include participants in every state in the United States, as well as groups in countries on every continent around the world. From hearing screenings to noisy toy campaigns to addressing traffic noise in cities to seeking quiet spaces in our communities, participants worldwide highlight the importance of reducing the noise in our lives. The goal remains the same—to educate the public about the negative impacts of noise on our lives and the importance of quiet on our overall well-being.

Say yes to quiet

We know that noise hurts. The message of CHC’s Noise Center has been clear–turn down the volume, limit exposure to noise, and wear hearing protection to protect yourself from this pervasive pollutant. In other words, just say “no” to noise. But it is not enough to “just say no to noise.” We must also say, “yes to quiet.” And, with our most recent International Noise Awareness Day celebration, participants did just that.

A look at 2019 noise awareness activities in NYC

Noise Awareness Day 2019, NYC, Nancy Nadler, right

Park, Bronzaft, Radicchi, Nadler (left to right) INAD 2019

In recognition of the 24th International Noise Awareness Day on this past April 24, 2019, CHC partnered with a group of world experts in the area of noise reduction and activism in a full-day workshop hosted by Dr. Tae Hong Park and New York University. We heard from a panel of speakers including leading noise authority Dr. Arline Bronzaft, about the impact of noise, changes that have occurred and changes we need. Participants experienced a simulated noise-induced hearing loss and had the opportunity for free hearing screenings on CHC’s mobile audiology testing van.  Finally, using the Hush City app, the attendees participated in a Soundwalk with researcher and architect, Dr. Antonella Radicchi.

On this International Noise Awareness Day, it became clear that we have known for years that noise is harmful to our health. In fact, as far back as 1930, the Noise Abatement Commission of New York City reported that noise hurts our hearing, impacts attention and concentration, is a strain on our nervous system and interferes with sleep.

As Dr. Bronzaft pointed out, we don’t need more research. We need action.

Consider intrinsic benefits of quiet

Perhaps then, it is not enough to tell people that noise hurts.  We must also look at what we gain when noise is not present—the intrinsic benefits of quiet.  When quiet is defined, it is associated with words such as calm, tranquility, gentleness, easygoing, unobtrusive. Quiet is central to meditation, which has been shown to improve health and overall well-being. The phrase “peace and quiet” is often used to reflect what so many of us seek after a hectic day at home or at work and suggests that one cannot have peace without quiet. When noise is limited, we not only reduce the negative effects associated with noise, but at the same time, we add the richness of quiet to our lives.

Please join us in observing the 25th Annual International Noise Awareness Day Wednesday, April 29, 2020.

As Director of CHC’s Noise Center, Nancy Nadler, MED, MA, developed, coordinated and implemented International Noise Awareness Day, a worldwide campaign established in 1996 to educate students and the general public about the impact of noise on hearing, health and quality of life. Ms. Nadler, who has served in an advisory capacity to the Mayor, helping to revise New York City’s Noise Code, is also the current Deputy Executive Director of the Center for Hearing and Communication.

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