Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Winter 2009 - page 4

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Right to Quiet Society's information booth at the Vancouver Wellness Show

This year, for the first time, we will have an information booth at the 17th Annual Wellness Show, to be held at the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hall “B” and “C”, at Canada Place (downtown’s waterfront).

The dates and times are Feb. 6, 7 and 8: on Friday from noon till 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m., and on Sunday from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. This is a good opportunity for us to get some exposure and generate better public awareness about noise-related health problems.

We are still looking for members to volunteer and help with their presence at the booth to give out our leaflets and other literature, and possibly answer some questions visitors may ask us regarding our work.

We are also looking for help with moving in and out of there. Our specific time slots for that are Thursday 5 p.m. to move in and Sunday 9 p.m. to move out. We do get eight badges for our volunteers who help, which admits them to the show. Luckily, those badges are transferable, so that we can give them to different helpers who come in at different times. Anyone interested and able to help there, please contact us as soon as possible, so that we can co-ordinate who will be available when. We would very much appreciate your help!

Suggestions to reduce noise

The European Federation for Transport and Environment suggests a number of measures municipalities should adopt to get a better grip on noise, including reducing city traffic by offering park and ride lots and pedestrian only areas, replacing old stone pavements and brushed concrete with sound absorbing surfaces and using small roundabouts and interactive speed restriction signs to slow traffic instead of speed bumps and traffic obstacles, which can increase traffic noise.

Noise Free America wants each state in the U.S. to de-clare noise "a dangerous form of pollution" and adopt a noise code. The proposed code would ban gasoline-powered leaf blowers, car alarms and loud exhaust pipes. The code would outline fines for the owners of barking dogs, set time frames for construction work and garbage collection and establish a rule stating that electronically amplified sound coming from a car can't be audible more than 10 feet from the vehicle. Other provisions include limits on the use of power equipment, Jet Skis, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, sirens and train horns.


More colourful is the approach of activists in Thailand protesting the noise around Suvarnabhumi Airport near Bangkok. On several occasions in the past 18 months, they threatened to release bunches of balloons to disrupt air traffic, in protest against the noise between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Last February, they made good on their promise, costing the airport more than $500,000 in compensation to airlines for the ensuing delays. That's above and beyond the earplugs and sleeping pills airport officials have been providing area residents since Suvarnabhumi opened.

When faced with the possibility that neighbours would launch homemade rockets along with the balloons, however, civil authorities began negotiations for financial compensation of people living near the airport.

— Excerpted from “Quiet, Please! How Noise Pollution Could Send You to the Hospital,” By Ursula Sautter and Mary Desmond Pinkowish, Health & Wellness. This is a section of the alternet.org web site: <http://www.alternet.org>

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Could "amplifier" be the cause?

Tinnitus - A research association examines if lack of oxygen supply to the inner ear causes Phantom sounds. Illnesses such as tinnitus (perception of phantom noise) and sudden permanent hearing loss are supposedly connected with disturbances of the oxygen supply to the inner ear. However, the causes are not quite clear and specific therapies unconfirmed.

The first consideration in that is to think of the supply of the inner ear by the blood: Oxygen is bound to the hemoglobin of the red blood-cells in the lungs, and released in the target organ. “But there could still be another mechanism,” explains Stefan Reuss, who teaches as a professor at the Institute for Anatomy and Cell Biology of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. He investigates the role of neuroglobin and cytoglobin, which bind oxygen like hemoglobin.


Their discoverers, Prof. Thomas Hanken of the Institute for Molecular Genetics at the University of Mainz, and his colleague, Thomas Burmester, who presently teaches and researches at the University of Hamburg, in co-operation with Reuss, explored the distribution of these proteins in the brain and the body. That work revealed that both globins occur in clearly defined neuron groups of the central nervous system. Precisely the neurons in the auditory brain-stem, which establish connections from the brain to the sensory cells of the hearing organ, belong to them. They are responsible for the perception and amplification of sounds, possibly also for generating noises like tinnitus. “With neuroglobin and cytoglobin we have after a long time found substances again that could possibly be candidates for playing a role in the generation of tinnitus and presbycusis,” says Reuss.

— Darmstaedter Echo

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