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by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
Do people have a right to live in a quiet community? Trevor Hancock, of the Times Colonist, thinks so, and so do I.
Hancock’s article discusses community noise, and highlights The Quiet Coalition’s Antonella Radicchi, PhD, who spoke in November 2018 at the Acoustical Society of America’s meeting in Victoria, BC, Canada, about her Hush City app.
In the U.S., the Noise Control Act of 1972 “establishes a national policy to promote an environment for all Americans free from noise that jeopardizes their health and welfare.”
The Environmental Protection Agency was tasked by Congress with the responsibility to make this happen. Unfortunately, in the Reagan era Congress defunded EPA’s Office of Noise Abatement and Control, and the country has gotten much noisier since then.
But it is now clearly known that noise is a health and public health hazard, causing hearing loss and other auditory disorders and non-auditory disorders including heart disease, stroke, and death.
We hope this knowledge will empower the public to demand quiet, just as the knowledge that secondhand smoke was a health hazard empowered the public to demand smoke free spaces.