Noise Facts

Noise Facts

Noise and Health

Noise and the Law

Noise and the Bully

Noise, Law & the Bully

Noise and Crime

Noise as Weapon

Sound/Measurement

Articles/Research

Advocacy Groups

Noise Experts
 

   


Noise—Definition

Noise: sound or a sound that is loud, unpleasant, unexpected, or undesired.  (American Heritage Dictionary)

Noise pollution: environmental pollution consisting of annoying or harmful noise...-- called also sound pollution  (Medline plus Health information).

World Health Organization. “Noise”. 15 October 2005. http://www.who.int/docstore/peh/noise/noiseindex.html

Neighborhood noise: Sounds with high information content such as language, music or also the noise of footsteps.

Niemann H, Bonnefoy X, Braubach M, Hecht K, Maschke C, Rodrigues C, Robbel N. Noise-induced annoyance and morbidity results from the pan-European LARES study. Noise Health [serial online] 2006;8:63-79. Available from: http://www.noiseandhealth.org/text.asp?2006/8/31/63/33537  [World Health Organization research team]

Very Low Frequency Noise:

--Many modern sounds have very low frequency (VLF) components, for example...amplified bass music.

--Unlike sounds of a higher pitch, one cannot habituate to them….

--VLF’s can cause extreme discomfort even when only just audible….

--VLF’s…are capable of causing a range of symptoms which are known to include: loss of concentration, a sensation of pressure inside the ears, pain at the base of the skull, nausea, and hallucinations….after prolonged exposure plus failure to get the authorities to do anything about it, people may suffer psychological damage, and several suicides have been reported in the press.

--What is happening? The answer is ‘forced vibrations’. A person inside that building is surrounded by six surfaces (four walls, ceiling and floor) all vibrating at close quarters within a closed environment, and all six surfaces are producing sound waves.

--This is a widespread problem which is not even officially recognised, let alone addressed. The result is many highly distressed individuals who live inside homes which have been turned into hell. They are unable to sell and move away, because who will buy the property?

--…Leading scientists have been condemning the use of A-weighting for VLF’s for at least two decades, and the World Health Organisation has published a document which makes the same point.

--Conclusions: The system in which are vested the authority and the power to deal with this kind of problem, is riddled with ignorance at every level from junior local Officers right up to Government itself. Much of this ignorance has become institutionalised in the form of pseudo-science and pseudo-law.

Guest, Hazel. Tackling Low Frequency Noise.  2003. UK Noise Assn.   http://www.ukna.org.uk/index_files/page0010.htm


How loud is low frequency noise.

“When it comes to assessing noise, the conventional wisdom is that the loudness of a sound will correlate well with its perceived annoyance. On this basis, the A-weighted sound pressure level is also assumed to correlate with the potential perceived annoyance of a sound. This might well be a reasonable assumption for mid range frequency sounds. But for low frequency sounds… the assumption that loudness is correlated highly with perceived annoyance breaks down.”

Broner N. J Acoustic Soc Am. 2008  http://www.biomedsearch.com/nih/How-loud-low-frequency-noise/18530243.html

Neighborhood Noise: Serious Health Endangerment

“…Neighbourhood noises are sounds with high information content such as language, music or also the noise of footsteps. It is in the nature of humans to have their attention drawn to such informative sounds, even if the sound level is relatively low. The annoyance potential of neighbourhood noise is therefore relatively high also at low noise levels and is heightened by the hearer's knowledge of the sound producer and other things causing the noise.

Policymakers, the public and many experts still underestimate the health impacts of noise in the residential environment. Noise can affect the neurological system directly or indirectly.... In this way, metabolic procedures, the regulation of vital body functions and the immune system can be influenced.

The results of the LARES study...demonstrate that neighbourhood noise must be classified as a serious health endangerment for adults.”

The health effects of permanent noise stress can reveal themselves ten to fifteen years later in different functional systems.       See more.

Niemann H, Bonnefoy X, Braubach M, Hecht K, Maschke C, Rodrigues C, Robbel N. Noise-induced annoyance and morbidity results from the pan-European LARES study. Noise Health [serial online] 2006; 8:63-79. Available from: http://www.noiseandhealth.org/text.asp?2006/8/31/63/33537  [World Health Organization research]


"When problems drag on for a while, we see the deterioration in people and that it's making them ill."

"Research suggests that for every noise complaint made to a local authority, another six are not acted on as people don't know who to complain to. It's believed one in 10 move due to a noise problem. "We want to try and resolve the problems people face, without them having to resort to such extreme measures. When problems drag on for a while, we see the deterioration in people and that it's making them ill." Anyone who wants to report a complaint about noise should contact the noise response team via the council's customer first centre...."

"Silencing the neighbours from hell." Blackpool Gazette. Mar 8, 2007. http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/blackpoolnews/Silencing-the-neighbours-from-hell.2105072.jp  [In Lancashire, England]


“…Noise can be one component of intimidation used.”

Amplified music is often the main problem. One environmental health inspector explained:

There are so many noise-making pieces of hardware in houses, with Playstations, play CDs, TV, of course you’ve got the big TVs with surround sound systems. The obvious ones like radios and amplifiers, but you’ve also got these people who have in a small domestic flat the sort of sound systems you’d associate with a club. Great big amplifiers with loudspeakers as big as an armchair. And they would say they were DJs practicing their trade, developing their trade at home.”

Burney, Elizabeth. Making People Behave: Anti-social behaviour, politics and policy: The Creation and Enforcement of Anti-social Behaviour Policy. Willan Publishing, 2005.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Making-People-Behave-second-Elizabeth/dp/1843926997


World Health Organization and Low Frequency Noise

"Special attention should also be given to ... noise sources with low frequency components."

"Stronger reactions have been observed when noise is accompanied by vibration and contains low frequency components."

"If the noise includes a large proportion of low frequency components still lower values than the guideline values ... will be needed."

"When prominent low frequency tones are present, noise measures based on A- weighting are inappropriate."

"Disturbances may occur even though the sound pressure level during exposure is below 30dBA."

"It should be noted that a large proportion of low frequency components may increase considerably the adverse effects on health."

"The evidence on low frequency noise is sufficiently strong to warrant immediate concern."

"Health effects due to low-frequency components in noise are estimated to be more severe than for community noises in general (Berglund et al. 1996)."

World Health Organization. “Guidelines for Community Noise: 3. Adverse health effects of noise.” 1999.  <http://www.who.int/docstore/peh/noise/Comnoise3.htm>.


"At low frequencies, loudness changes more rapidly with changes in level."

World Health Organization. “Environmental Health Criteria 12: Noise.” International Programme on Chemical Safety. 1980. 15 October 2005 http://www.inchem.org/documents/ehc/ehc/ehc012.htm#SubSectionNumber:1.1.3


Impulsive Noise

Impulsive noise. . . is brief and abrupt, and its startling effect causes greater annoyance than would be expected from a simple measurement of sound pressure level.

~ Environmental Noise Handbook, Breul and Kjaer  http://earthworksaction.org/typesofnoise.cfm       

All noise is not equally annoying

Not all noise has the same effect on humans, nor do all humans react in the same way to noise stimuli.  Certain noise characteristics can greatly increase the annoyance factor and the potential health impacts associated with noise.  In addition to the sound pressure level, these factors include:  1) difference between the new noise and the prior ambient noise environment; 2) the presence tonal noise; 3) low frequency noise; 4) fluctuating, intermittent or periodic sounds; and 5) impulsive sounds.

Care should be exercised to distinguish between sound pressure level, sound power level, sound intensity level, and sound or noise level.

World Health Organization. “Environmental Health Criteria 12: Noise.” International Programme on Chemical Safety. 1980. 15 October 2005.  <http://www.inchem.org/documents/ehc/ehc/ehc012.htm#SubSectionNumber:1.1.3>.

Noise does not have to be loud to be harmful

Noise does not have to be loud to be harmful. A dripping faucet, a neighbour's blaring television set, an overhead jet - all may cause stress to the body's system. If sustained over time, this stress may lead to physical ailments. (Kryter, 1985; 1994; Fay, 1991; Passchier­Vermeer, 1993; Tempest, 1985).

Bronzaft AL. Noise : Combating a ubiquitous and hazardous pollutant. Noise Health [serial online] 2000 [cited 2008 May 28];2:1-8. http://www.noiseandhealth.org/text.asp?2000/2/6/1/31738


Perpetrator Facts

The Psychological profile of a sound abuser:
From our studies, people that use noise in situations that are not qualified as an emergency, expose these forms of behavior:

1. Lack of awareness
2. Lack of responsibility
3. Intentionality
4. Selfishness
5. Lack of respect for others
6. Lack of respect for one self
7.
Defiance, abusive behavior

http://www.soundpollution.org/index04.html              See more





 
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