Photo credit: Natalie Dmay

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

This article in Sierra, the magazine of the Sierra Club, discusses noise pollution as a problem. Author Krystal Vasquez thought that noise wasn’t a problem compared to other forms of pollution like air pollution and water pollution, until a construction project started near her apartment. Then she also noticed other urban noises–sirens, motorcycles, garbage trucks, horns–and realized that noise pollution is a much bigger problem than she had thought.

She’s particularly right about nighttime noise that disrupts sleep.

Vasquez plans to move to a quieter neighborhood when her lease is up, but as she notes, she’s fortunate enough to be able to do that. Noise pollution disproportionately impacts poor and minority communities, with most of those affected being unable to move away from their noisy neighborhoods.

Local noise ordinances can help control the din, but as Vasquez writes, federal action is really required.

Vasquez concludes her article with a quote from The Quiet Coalition’s Arline Bronzaft, PhD:

“What I learned is that the solutions are there,” said Bronzaft, adding that she’s proposed many over the course of her career. “That’s the painful part,” she pointed out. “We know what to do. We just lack the will to do it.”