Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Winter 2008 - page 6

Energy loss through sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation affects about a quarter of all Canadians and many catch up during daily activities, states a recent  Canwest News Service article by Misty Harris. The Environics Research study, commissioned by the Better Sleep Council Canada and cited in the article, found the top sleep deterrents to be street noises (24 per cent) and babies or children (14 per cent).

Noise kills people

Heart disease-ischemic patients are at high risk upon exposure to noise

Approximately seven million people worldwide die each year due to ischemic heart complications like circulation problems caused by coronary insufficiency, functional syndromes, cardiovascular obstructions and related ailments. Of those, more than 200,000 fatalities could be blamed on noise exposure.

According to a report in the New Scientist magazine, long-term exposure to road-traffic noise in Europe is exclusively

responsible for up to 3 per cent of all fatal heart attacks. Also, continuously excessive noise levels can have further health implications.
Aside of heart disease caused by road-traffic noise, sleep disturbances from frequent background noises, hearing impairment through loud music, road-traffic and leisure noise count amongst the culprits. In addition to that, even lower levels of noise during day or night can lead to impaired learning in children.

— Darmstaedter Echo - mp/niza

Unjustified horn-honking expensive

FRANKFURTIf a driver honks his horn without a good reason, he has to pay compensation for accidents caused by it, including pain and suffering. This was determined in a verdict by the county court of Frankfurt, Germany. A driver was sentenced to pay Euro 200 to a female cyclist (file # 32 C 3625/06-48). He was driving


directly behind the elderly cyclist on a narrow street and suddenly honk-ed his horn. That startled the woman and she fell off the bike, sustaining injuries.

— Darmstaedter Echo - dpa

Pipe-down news from Europe

Our Pipe-down allies in Germany reported that British Airways either has no “muzak” playing on board or will turn it off upon request.
A newsletter of the British Pipe-down organisation carried the following:
From Bob Rust: I phoned a large organisation. The telephonist said, “I will put you on hold while I find the person you want. You won’t hear anything—the hold music is broken.” I replied, “Thank goodness for that!” To which she replied, “Everyone who has called today has said that.”

Members report:
From the Queen Charlotte Islands C. Ross sent a report about problems with a municipal dog-pound in Masset. On a promotional brochure the village administration requests, “PLEASE KEEP OUR TOWN CLEAN!” [of garbage], and “Heal the Planet, Recycle.” There is no word about disturbing, unhealthy acoustic garbage—noise!

In Vancouver A. Foster wrote something went wrong with the smoke-alarm system in her building at 7 a.m., and the alarm was on for over half an hour! It was unbearable as she could not remove her fingers from her ears, even her bad ear, to put on her bathrobe. The same goes for burglar alarms. This is an all too frequent occurrence in many buildings. Higher-quality alarms and better technology cost too much for many owners to acquire and instal, perhaps until enough people demand it.

C. Roberts pledged to continue speaking out against loud “muzak” in stores like London Drugs, IGA, Shoppers Drug Mart, as well as Canada Trust and Toronto Dominion Bank. We urge everyone to follow this example.

Dr. R. Dunn wrote an explicit letter to City Council and Parks Board re. the addition of terribly loud “musical” entertainment prior to the annual fireworks, rudely imposed on nearby residents. If action will follow remains to be heard.

Entire contents © 2006 Right to Quiet Society. Cartoon © 1996 Right to Quiet Society
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