Did you know...?

At the Vancouver Stadium Station, Translink has been experimenting with screeching bird-scare devices in an attempt to keep birds off the track system. They hope to expand the usage to other stations, many of which abut residential areas.

The New York City Council, by a 40-9 vote, approved an ordinance prohibiting the use of cell phones at public performances.

The preamble to Jamaica's 1997 Noise Abatement Act reads, "The level of noise in Jamaica both by day and by night has become truly appalling and it is affecting the health and welfare of the nation."

Madrid, Spain has launched a blitz to curb the widespread bellowing, honking, carousing, slot machines, TVs, nighttime construction and other vexatious behaviours which have become endemic in that city.

According to a Cornell University study (Journal of Applied Psychology Vol. 85, No. 5, pp. 779-783, 2000), low-level office noise increases worker stress levels, lowers job motivation, and can lead to heart disease and tension- related musculoskeletal problems.

The new ANSI/ASA Specification S12.60-2002 sets maximum background noise for school classrooms at 35 decibels.

Some 4,900 Japanese residents living near a joint US/Japan military air base just west of Tokyo won a noise pollution lawsuit against the Japanese government for 2.7 billion yen (22.0 million US dollars).

In a pilot project, the Metropolitan Transit Agency of Montreal plans to buy 120 quiet electric cars and make them available for public use at various points around that city.

Researcher Sylvia Koton found that startles caused by sudden loud noises or other unexpected events preceded within two hours 20% of strokes studied.

Ignoring nearly 245,000 public comments favouring a ban on snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, the Bush administration reversed, after a $500,000 lobbying effort by snowmobile manufacturers, a phase-out formerly approved by the Clinton administration.

Inkaneep Point Resort, just north of Osoyoos, BC, boasts lakefront cabins with no TVs or phones.

Noise Contributes to Pharmacy Errors

Researchers at Auburn University in Alabama, led by Dr. Elizabeth A. Flynn, studied factors contributing to prescription dispensing errors, which occur at a rate of 2% nationwide in the USA, giving some 60 million errors annually. Flynn and her colleagues investigated medication dispensing errors in an observational study of 50 chain, health-system and independent community-based pharmacies in Illinois, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Washington and Florida.

Altogether, they inspected 5,784 prescriptions and found 91 errors, or an error rate of 1.57%. They also identified 74 near-errors. Among the number of factors associated with errors were high noise levels in the pharmacy, including radio and television sounds, and low lighting the report indicates. Flynn recommends that consumers get their prescriptions filled at a well-lit pharmacy and that they "go to a pharmacy that's somewhat quiet." Her website is: Dr. Flynn

-Reuters Health

Beep Beep...
Keyless automobile entry systems which use the horn to signal activation and deactivation are now filling parking lots and residential areas with a cacophony of gratuitous honking. It is mind-boggling that government agencies such as Transport Canada and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have allowed these systems, considering laws against non- emergency horn usage and the ready availability of the quiet alternative - flashing the car's lights.

Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Spring 2003

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