Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sir... you're gonna need to keep the noise down!!!!

As cities grow, their governments and citizens need to start worrying about their environmental effects. Everyone is familiar with air or water pollution and it is indisputable when it exists. There is however, a different but just as important pollution type, that not many people are aware of: noise pollution.

I started to think about this for two reasons, 1) the research group I work in can be loud, no I mean really loud and 2) I have an infant son who's woken up when the fucking neighbor and his motorcycle arrive or leave. It is amazing the possible negative health effects that noise pollution can have (from Wikipedia: annoyance and aggression, hypertension, high stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disturbances). Not fun at all. And that is only in humans. Animal environments suffer probably even more when noise is introduced into their area.

One big problem when it comes to regulating noise pollution is that a general agreement as to what sounds constitute pollution is not easy to be reached. I suspect my neighbor reeeeeeeeeeally likes his bike when it annoys me big time. Here's an area where scientists can really make an impact on society. By performing all kinds of studies and making those results available we could, maybe, change people's understanding of noise and its detrimental effect.

Thanks to Gabriel Iglesias for the title.

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