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by on October 25, 2013


We won’t talk about noise pollution this semester, but this is a pretty cool article and leads to a really great website. It is another form of pollution that many of us do not have to deal with.


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  1. ksbarbieri permalink

    I initially learned of noise pollution for the first time in a high school environmental science class. I was intrigued by this article’s ability to allow the reader to hear what noise pollution sounded like in the 1920s rather than merely describing it. It’s interesting to see how vast pollution can be and how something as simple as peace and quiet can be taken for granted, especially when it is something that we do not have to deal with on a daily basis. When many people think of pollution they usually think of water or air pollution and its negative health and environmental implications, however pollution also manifests itself in other ways such as excess light or noise. Like mentioned above, it’s a type of pollution that many do not think about. However, those who are exposed to noise pollution are known to suffer from various health problems such as hearing impairment, sleep disturbances, cardiovascular problems, and disturbances in mental health. It’s interesting to see how much something as simple as amplified or excessive noise can impact a person’s health.

  2. It was interesting to learn that the noise in New York City in the 1920’s deprived people of 42% of their hearing. Current residents of New York most likely take the fact that they do not have to deal with this type of noise pollution for granted. Not only would the noise be annoying, but it can have very serious health effects for certain individuals. It is crazy to think that according to the Noise Abatement Commission, “a Bengal tiger could roar or snarl indefinitely without attracting the auditory attention of passers-by. We often associate pollution with marginalized societies, but at first noise pollution’s connection to marginalized societies was not clear to me. After listening to the noise laboratory clip, it became clear to me that areas without as much money to direct towards new technology would be more susceptible to noise pollution from old machinery and “low-tech” vehicles. Loud factories would probably be placed in less powerful communities as well.

  3. I thought this article was very interesting because normally when we think of pollution, we are not thinking of noise pollution. I think Noise pollution can be a type of environmental justice or environmental racism issue, as noise pollution often affects the poorest people and can be harmful to health. Noise from factories, trains, and highways can all be types of noise pollution that can be harmful to humans. Though the article did not mention it, I also think that noise pollution can greatly affect animals that are found in areas with high noise pollution. For example, animals found in New York City parks, such as squirrels and birds, may be affected by the constant loud noises they encounter each day. For all types of animals, noise pollution has the potential to wake an organism from hibernation, disturb an organism’s sleeping pattern, or even scare away a mother from its young. Noise pollution can definitely affect a city, but with increasing regulations (such as fines for beeping in NYC), hopefully noise pollution will become much less of a problem.

  4. I can honestly say I have never heard of noise pollution. I ended up unintentionally listening to the noise video as I read the article, however it did not seem to distract me. In comparison, I can’t help but wonder how deeply distracted I would be if I were to try and read in NYC today. In considering noise a form of pollution, for me, a whole new twist is put on the word pollution. What exactly is pollution? As mentioned above, yes animals are disturbed by noise, but do they consider their environment polluted, or is it all they know? As a socially constructed phenomenon, I feel as though pollution means something different to everyone and is an idea we have created and we measure. I believe it is these variances in the definition that often leave many confused and unable to act against all kinds of pollution. What exactly is it? How much is too much? In particular, who decides that noise has risen to a polluting level? I think in trying to interpret noise as a form of pollution, we discredit other forms of pollution such as carbon emissions and trash. On the other hand, in having adverse side-effects, excessive noise could be equally as damaging or restriction as the consequences of other pollution. I think this article was very interesting and thought provoking. Although I know I may be reaching way out for some of those ideas, but if noise pollution does in fact exist, I can not even imagine how polluted our daily lives are today with the emergence of so much technology!

  5. This article was very eye opening for me because this is something that were usually do not think about. I have never lived in a city but I have visited many over the years. I never realized how all of this noise could be detrimental to our health. This is an another environmental issue that needs to be looked at even closer because it can hurt our health. Half of the battle could be just educating people enough to understand that this issue is continually hurting us because cities are so overpopulated. Cities struggle to contain all this noise but there is optimism that technology could help this problem in the future. This is an issue that needs to be looked at more and we need to develop a new system to control this noise better.

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