Quiet-List 1997

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Noise Pollution in Albuquerque



   Here are some excerpts from an item on Noise Pollution in 
Albuquerque, NM (USA) which I got from an AltaVista search 
("www.altavista.digital.com").  The entire article can be found at 
"http://www.cabq.gov/aes/s5noise.html"; (9K 5/21/97).
                                                       - David
   
Albuquerque's Environmental Story
Environmental Topic:  Noise
by Richard Mitzelfelt

Background and Problems

Noise, commonly defined as unwanted sound, is an environmental phenomenon... 
Noise can also be considered an environmental pollutant...
Albuquerque's noise control ordinance was placed into effect in June 1975.  
The Environmental Health Department's Consumer Protection Division personnel 
are responsible for enforcing the ordinance.  Noise control enforcement may 
involve many sources of excessive noise:  radios, stereos, television, live 
bands, machinery, equipment fans, air conditioners, construction, vehicle 
repairs, motor vehicles, and general noise.

Offenders May Pay

If an individual produces a sound level (noise) louder than the noise 
ordinance allows, he or she can be issued a citation by the police or the 
staff from the Environmental Health Department.  The fine at the window is 
$50, and if found guilty in a court hearing, the offender could be fined as 
much as $500 or 90 days in jail, or both.

Approximate Sound Levels in Decibels

Police siren: 118
Rock band, disco: 115
Missing muffler: 115
Hole(s) in muffler: 111
Tailpipe damage: 109
Circular saw: 107
Hole/break in pipe from engine to muffler: 105
Internal muffler deterioration: 104
Heavy  truck at 90 feet (40 mph): 99
Power mower: 92
Freight train at 50 feet: 88
Printing press: 80
Vacuum cleaner: 74
Busy street traffic: 70
Air-conditioning unit: 60
Interior of a quiet car: 50
Private office: 41
Library: 33
Threshold of hearing: 0
Maximum allowable sound level from car exhaust under city's noise control
ordinance: 96

Sound at 155 decibels can burn the skin. 
Sound at 180 decibels can kill.

For more information about sound, noise, and noise testing, call the
Noise Control Office at 766-7435 or 768-2600.

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