Photo credit: Craig Adderley
by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
According to this report on Spectrum NY1 cable television channel, New Yorkers suffer from excessive noise. Is anyone surprised?
The “city that never sleeps” has long been one of the noisiest cities in the world, maybe the noisiest, although as best as I can tell there are no published scientific studies ranking cities worldwide by noise levels. And of course, even noisy cities have quiet places, so it would be very hard to measure total noise levels over a city’s entire area.
But to me, the important news is the recognition–in this piece, and recently in others–that noise isn’t just a nuisance, but is a health hazard, with noise levels not high enough to damage hearing causing non-auditory health effects, including high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.
The Spectrum NY1 report quotes The Quiet Coalition’s Arline Bronzaft, PhD, as did a recent article in a Sierra Club publication. Dr. Bronzaft has been writing about the dangers of noise for decades. We’re glad that people are finally starting to listen to her!