Noise

I am using this as a central page to share educational info on noise pollution caused by human actions and activities. Noise hurts sky, land, and underwater habitats of all species on Earth including humans.

I support environmental and community sound levels quiet enough to protect species at risk and protect human rights to communication and hearing health. I define noise objectively as sound levels higher than recommended World Health Organization internationally recommended guidelines.

Public Health Noise Limit Guidelines

< 40 dBA
Day-Night: Natural quiet with no amplified or manufactured sound sources, habitat conservation, sleep, rest, recovery, preschools, classrooms, hospital rooms
40 – 55 dBA
Day-Night: Risk of speech interference and/or discomfort for people with hearing health disabilities or quiet communication needs, e.g. tinnitus, hyperacusis, speech-in-noise loss, hearing loss, cognitive delays or declines, autism, hyperactivity, post concussion or head-injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia.
Night: Increased risk of chronic mental and physical health conditions: e.g. low birth weight, delayed learning, delayed language, delayed reading, cognitive delays, autism, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, dementia, early death
55 – 70 dBA
Day-Night: All of the above + speech interference for people with normal hearing.
> 70 dBA
Day-Night: All of the above + hearing health risk, e.g. hidden hearing loss, speech-in-noise loss, tinnitus, hyperacusis, temporary or permanent sensorineural hearing loss, accelerated age-related sensorineural hearing loss

Jan L. Mayes Education Modules (In Progress)

What noise education topics are you most interested in learning more about?
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Interesting Reads

Environmental Noise Reading Room by Topic: 1974 – 2019

Compiled by Jan L. Mayes. Titles and links to environmental and community noise related documents and resources.

Flatpack Democracy: A Guide to Creating Independent Politics

The Frome model for city or community government change is a blueprint for “a non-confrontational way of working and a participatory approach to democracy.” Communities are using for air-noise-light pollution control at local levels.

Guide to Modified Exhaust Systems: A reference for Law Enforcement Officers and Motor Vehicle Inspectors

This is an enforcement guide for motorcycles, automobiles, and light trucks with modified exhaust systems (or modified stereo systems). These loud noise sources add to unhealthy high community noise levels.

Plane Truth: Aviation’s Real Impact on People and the Environment

This book describes the air pollution impact of aircraft on global health. Note: The noise pollution impact is just as serious a public health crisis.

Discord: The Story of Noise

This book describes the history of noise from this author’s perspective. Note: it doesn’t include the communication access impact or modern soundscape research on quiet city design and protection.

Jan L. Mayes

MSc, Aud(C), RAud

Author, audiologist, educator, quiet activist, playing with words.

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