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Applauding International Noise Awareness Day (INAD) 2024

Updated: Apr 23

Arline L. Bronzaft, PhD, Professor Emerita, City University of New York

Noise expert Arline Bronzaft taking noise measurements
Noise expert Arline Bronzaft taking noise measurements

As we prepare to recognize the 29th International Noise Awareness Day (INAD), I want to thank the team at the Center for Hearing and Communication, especially Nancy Nadler, who oversees INAD every year. I need to add that while Nancy Nadler and I had major roles in establishing INAD, I would be remiss if I did not express appreciation for the group of New York City residents who assisted us with the “birth” of INAD. 


Recalling Visionary Leaders

My association with CHC started in 1986 when I was invited to be part of a panel discussion entitled “Report on Noise in the '80s.” Speaking at this panel was Henry Stern, NYC Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, and Sam Stempler, Assistant Commissioner of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. I thought it might be worthwhile to those of us who are still battling noise to hear the voices of these two 1980s public officials.

Photo of Henry Stern, NYC Commissioner of Parks and Recreation
Henry Stern, former NYC Commissioner of Parks and Recreation

At any rate, the struggle against illegal noise has to be fought at all levels: by the Legislature in passing new and stricter regulations; by the administrative agencies, like parks and police, in cracking down on violators; and by the public itself, by making complaints, bringing violations to the attention of the authorities, and using whatever direct pressure they can on businesses or other establishments that violate the law. - Commissioner Henry Stern


Referencing the last sentence in the introduction to the NYC Noise Code, Assistant Commissioner, Sam Stempler, said the following:

I think I must say this at night before I go to sleep. I can quote it well. “Nothing herein shall abridge the duties and responsibilities of the police department to enforce the provisions of this code."                                 


Where We Are Today

Despite stronger literature in 2024 linking noise to hearing loss and adverse mental and physical health effects, New Yorkers, like citizens worldwide, are still calling out for stronger legislation to combat noise, as well as asking for stronger reinforcement of existing noise bylaws. On a positive note, there are public officials internationally who are responding positively to requests for stronger anti-noise regulations.

logo for quiet communities of the U.S.

I am pleased that there has been a definite increase in the voices asking for a quieter environment. There has also been the growth of organizations dedicated to combating noise pollution. To name a few: Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, Stop the Chop NY/NJ, and Quiet Communities in the U.S., the UK Noise Association, NoMoreNoise Toronto! and Right to Quiet Society in Canada.


My Message to You

What is my message for INAD? I invite you to join individuals and organizations worldwide to take action to reduce noise pollution. Do turn to the CHC International Noise Awareness Day website to assist in these efforts, and let us hope that the 30th Anniversary of INAD will be celebrated in a quieter and healthier environment.

Let Arline know what you think about noise and this blog post by leaving a comment or sending an email message.

About Arline Bronzaft

Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D.

Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D. is a Professor Emerita of Lehman College, City University of New York and an Expert Witness on noise impacts. Dr. Bronzaft conducts research, writes and lectures on the adverse effects of noise on mental and physical health.

She has written broadly on noise including Why Noise Matters 2011 of which she is a co-author, chapters in environmental books and encyclopedias, published articles in academic journals and has writings in the popular press. She is frequently quoted in the media in the U.S. and abroad and in 2007 assisted in the updating of the 2007 New York City Noise Code.

Dr. Bronzaft has partnered with the Center for Hearing and Communication to promote noise awareness and education since the 1980s. In 1996, she worked with CHC to establish International Noise Awareness Day, a celebration now in its 28th year that continues to be observed across the globe.

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