American Fork and cities around the country have one thing in common – noise pollution. The world is full of sounds. The problem arises when these sounds become too loud. Excessive noise can pose a danger to your health and well-being according to a number of organizations including the World Health Organization, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the U.S Census Bureau.
What is Noise Pollution?
First things first – what even is noise pollution? According to your American Fork audiologist, noise pollution is the unwanted or disturbing sounds that are the source of outdoor noise. These sounds are typically caused by construction equipment and transportation.
Is Noise Pollution Dangerous?
Noise pollution is highest in cities, where background noise can reach 55 to 67 decibels. This is about the same volume as the hum of an air conditioner.
Typically, the thought is that sounds only become dangerous if they exceed 85 decibels. But while lower sounds may not cause hearing loss, they can lead to increases in:
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Stress hormones
A study published in 2017 actually found that people living in a city have the level of hearing loss associated with someone 10 to 20 years older than them. And according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), nearly 24 percent of Americans aged 20 to 69 have hearing loss caused by exposure to excessive noise.
What Can Be Done About Noise Pollution?
Now that we are all on the same page about the dangers of noise pollution, it is time to do something about it. Your American Fork audiologist recommends visiting Noise Free America. Ted Rueter founded this company in 2001 after he was fed up with the lack of resources to fight noise pollution. The goal of Rueter’s nonprofit is to educate the public about noise pollution.
Below are some ways you can help curb the problem of noise pollution.
Join the Community
Signing up for updates and alerts from Noise Free America is the easiest way to get involved. According to your American Fork audiologist you will receive information about volunteer opportunities and lobbying efforts currently within your community. You will also receive information about how to contact your local, state or national representatives to ask for more legislation for anti-noise ordinances.
Noise Free America has a free 67-page manual that can be downloaded off their website. This document contains a lot of helpful information, including:
- How to identify noise pollution
- Why it is harmful to your health
- How to start a local chapter
- How to fight noise in your community
- Quiet alternatives to noise-making products
- Suggestions on wording for petitions and letters to representatives
Practice What You Preach
If you are talking to your friends and family members to encourage them to reduce their noise pollution, it is important to practice what you preach. You certainty can’t ask your neighbor to use a rake only to walk past him with your leaf blower.
While it would be nice to think that there will be a time when there is no noise pollution, this is not in the immediate future. Until then, it is important to protect your hearing. This can be done through protective headphones and earplugs.
To learn more about protecting yourself from loud noises, contact your American Fork audiologist to schedule an appointment.