Photo credit: Cameron Casey

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

In this wonderful editorial in the September 2022 issue of The Hearing Journal, The Quiet Coalition’s Arline Bronzaft, PhD, discusses noise pollution and her pioneering work on the adverse impact of noise pollution on learning.

In 1975, Dr. Bronzaft published a paper showing that noise from an elevated train line adjacent to an elementary school interfered with learning by students in classes on that side of the building compared to students on the opposite side of the building, who didn’t have the noise exposure. Track modifications were made and sound absorbing material was installed in the classrooms on the noisy side of the school, and reading scores for those students rose to the same as those on the quiet side of the building.

That research, and that early success in making the world a quieter place, led Dr. Bronzaft to a lifelong career in noise research and as a noise activist.

She has been honored by the American Psychological Association for that work, as an exemplar of passion, coalition building, and leadership.

As Dr. Bronzaft writes, the world can be made quieter, but a quieter world begins with each of us. Not making noise that bothers others is respectful of our neighbors.

In an increasingly crowded and increasingly noisy world, a little bit of respect can help us all get along.

And a quieter world will be a better and a healthier world for all.