Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Spring 2015, page 8

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20th Annual International Noise Awareness Day
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Since 1982 the Right to Quiet Society has quietly endeavored to generate awareness about unhealthy noise, and how to prevent and reduce it. With all the work that was done, has the world become quieter? When looking at statistics and other reports, overall noise levels have increased in many places worldwide. Despite growing evidence of the deleterious effects of noise and information about its prevention and abatement, there remains a stubborn resistance to turning the tide. If ears would bleed upon exposure to noise, people would be up in arms and promptly demand action to stop it. Very peculiarly though, noise is not perceived and dealt with as toxins in the environment are.

In 1995 we reached out to find other like-minded individuals and organisations, as well as good information on which to base our arguments. On account of this effort we came into contact with the Noise Centre of what was then the New York League for the Hard of Hearing, which was just organizing a National Noise Awareness Day. They invited us to participate. We gladly followed their call and, for our part, notified other organisations in Europe and South Africa. With the use of the internet the message was spread around the globe, and on Wednesday, April 24th, 1996 the first International Noise Awareness Day was held. The interest it elicited inspired the organisers to make it an annual event.

Twenty years of campaigning for a quieter, healthier world seems to be a long time, but deeply rooted attitudes are not easily and quickly changed. That needs tireless perseverance and endurance to overcome countless obstacles. Gratefully, all the hard work of many individuals is reaping some success, however small, all of which gives good reason to carry on with this effort. Once again we urge everybody to pause for one minute at 2:15 p.m. (your local time) on April 29 and listen to your surroundings! Should you wish to distribute leaflets where you live, please contact us as soon as possible. Also, on our website we have our yellow leaflet and some other items posted to download and copy. Thank you all for your support!                  - Hans Schmid

Knox Metropolitan Church bells ring for King Abdullah

The bells at Knox Metropolitan Church in downtown Regina began ringing for more than an hour at lunchtime on January 24. It's to honor the life of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who died earlier this week. According to Carol Benesh, who is with the group, the bells toll once for every day King Abdullah reigned. "It's about 3,800 days, which is just under 76 minutes of tolling," she told CBC News Saturday morning.

Benesh said five volunteers work together to keep the bells continuously ringing and ensure the count is correct. The group ring the bells every time a world monarch dies. The last time was for King Hussein of Jordan in 1999. Benesh said the bells rang for over six hours that day.

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Swiss cowbells under threat

One of Switzerland's most enduring cultural icons, the cow bell, is under threat from animal rights activists, who say it is causing bovine deafness. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich said the bells, which weigh up to 5.5 kilograms, can reach noise levels of 113 decibels - equivalent to a chainsaw. Cows have more sensitive hearing than humans and the scientists fear the constant noise of

the bells is also affectingtheir feeding behaviour. A spokeswoman for Swiss Tourism said the country would survive. "It would be the end of a myth of an image of Switzerland," Veronique Kanel told the Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper. "However, our mountains also have other assets, including silence, which is what people are also seeking when they go to the Alps."
                         - The Vancouver Sun

Mortality from respiratory causes linked to noise pollution

By Yoama Ford

A group of experts related for the first time the increase in mortality due to respiratory diseases with the environmental noise in a city. To establish this link, the experts analysed daily mortality from respiratory causes data registered from 2003 to 2005 in Madrid. The European Respiratory Society published that these results may be extrapolated to any town that is registering noise levels similar to those existing in the aforementioned city.

According to the authors of the article, the cause of the increase in mortality from respiratory causes could be linked to the rise of cortisone levels in the blood, hormone released in stressful situations, which is also related to the noise. The study affirms the effect of the noise on mortality is 6.2 percent for every decibel of increase in noise levels. It also states the most vulnerable individuals are those who are over 65 years old.                     - Prensa Latina

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Entire contents 2015 Right to Quiet Society. Cartoon, 1996, Right to Quiet Society

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