Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Spring 2007 - page 6

Samples of queries

Every year we receive numerous calls and messages from people, asking for help or advice about how to deal with noise problems of many kinds. Below is a small selection of such requests and comments:

"Just the website I was looking for. Thank you for putting this together. I live in Nanaimo, BC where there are, not surprisingly, quite a few Harley riders driving through residential areas with loud pipes. I wasn't able to find any- thing on your website specific to this type of noise pollution and whether anyone has successfully lobbied to get bylaws enforced. Can you direct me to any resources re. this problem? Do you know if anyone has tried to do any- thing about motorcycle noise in other cities? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you."

"Reading the goals and objectives on your website, it is curious to note that there is no mention of the noise pollution of barking dogs. The volume of a dog's bark is from around 60 decibels and can sometimes exceed 110 decibels. In many neighbourhoods dogs are left alone in the day and are barking for extended stretches of time in empty houses. In my neighbourhood of East Vancouver dogs start barking at 7 am and can still be heard at 12:30 am.

Obviously, people need to be encouraged to step up to the plate and take responsibility for the noise pollution barking dogs cause. Organizations like yours can help to build awareness of the harmful effects of barking to a peaceful environment. Will you be adding barking dogs to your list?"

"Hello, Is your group doing anything towards banning car alarms? I live in a busy urban neighbourhood—Kitsilano—and the sound of car alarms has become more frequent and is very irritating.


Usually the car owners are nowhere to be seen, meaning they leave it to others to watch over their vehicles. Recently, after 45 minutes of listening to one outside my place, the owner finally came out of a house across the street (I was standing by the car at this point) and thought I was crazy for complaining about her alarm going off every three to five minutes for the past 45 minutes—she hadn't heard it at all! The passive security systems seem to work fine—these alarms are too intrusive! Any group(s) working on this issue would get my support."

"Our family has been latest victim of noise. We bought a brand new house six months ago. Everything was perfect until we heard noise from an air-conditioner unit from a church building starting in March. The A/C is on 24 hours a day even there is nobody is in the church building. We complained about the noise and the property manager agreed to turn off A/C if there is no activity in the building. The building is used about 10 hours per week on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. It only worked for a few weeks and then the A/C was on again day and night. We called the property manager and he said that he could not help. The church has been there for 12 years.

“We are newcomers and there is nothing he can do. We are helpless and need help. My wife has been frustrated and complains about her ears. We have a one year old baby and my wife is concerned about the baby's hearing. One solution is to sell the house. It will be very costly since we just moved in. It will waste a lot of time and money in this effort. The buyer may not buy our house since the noise is loud and clear. We will lose property value. We feel trapped. What else can we do instead of moving? Help, please."

Continued on next panel, below...

"Hi, I was excited to find your site and a link to “quiet products,” but disappointed that there were no references for quiet refrigerators. Am I the only one driven to distraction by a noisy fridge? I live in a small one-bedroom, open floor-plan apartment, so every cubic inch is dominated by fridge noise 75% of the time (can't even call it a "hum"). I am looking to replace it with a smaller, QUIETER model, that also kicks in less frequently if possible, but don't know where to start. Can you help? I would be very grateful for your advice or any references to similar sites that might list quiet refrigerators. Thank you very much!"

"I teach in a public school system in Mississippi. Part of my contractual assignment is to accompany my home-room class to the cafeteria and sit with them while they eat. There are 150 students in the room at any given lunch period and the noise level is so high that it is making me sick. I retreat to the outside whenever I can, but I know that I am breaking my contract when I do.

In October, the school required me to go with my students to a football pep rally. The main event was music produced by a full-blown community-college marching band. The noise forced me to go outside to keep a bit of my sanity.


Can you tell me if OSHA regulations apply to public as well as private places of work? I know that what I experience daily exceeds any minimum OSHA standards. How can I find out if I can refuse to remain in this stress and keep my only source of income?"

"Dear Noise pollution specialists, We live near a railroad crossing which has an automatic warning horn mounted at the railroad crossing which sounds when trains approach the crossing. This horn produces noxious noise at our house (we are about 70-100 M from the noise source) Are you aware of any products that might help mitigate the excessive environmental noise from this warning horn at our house and yard? I am thinking specifically of an active noise cancellation apparatus that might significantly reduce the noise from that horn at our house and yard. However, I'd like to hear about any suggestions you might have. Thanks very much and I hope to hear from you soon."

"Hello, I just discovered your group and was wondering if you have had a chance to look into the noise problems with industrial wind power plants. If you haven't visited the following site to get up to speed— http://www.bhcc.ca/ noise.htm —check it out. This industry is growing and will become a real problem if not addressed now."

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