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Welcome to Peace and Quiet

Here is the Spring 2020 NOISE Letter.

More and more, human-generated noise unduly burdens the soundscape - the indispensable, integral acoustic component of our environment.

To bring about awareness of this problem, and to prevent and reduce noise as much as possible, the Right to Quiet Society for Soundscape Awareness and Protection was established in 1982, with charitable status in Canada.

Our objectives are to promote awareness of the increasing problem of noise pollution and the dangers of noise to our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being; to work for noise abatement through regulation and enforcement and by encouraging responsible behaviour; and to foster recognition of the right to quiet as a basic human right.

We track and disseminate information about events and public meetings related to noise mitigation, not only in western Canada, but throughout North America; we disseminate action alerts about advocacy efforts throughout North America; and we answer inquiries from members of the public about noise problems - when we aren't able to answer, we do our best to find an expert to provide guidance. We also share stories, including accounts of successes and triumphs, as often as we can.

We do not seek to create an absolutely silent world. However, we want to see a world where quiet is a normal and readily available part of life. A world where everyone can "hear nature again."

If you would like to donate to the Right to Quiet Society,
click here, or en Francais ici.



INAD 2020: 25th International Noise Awareness Day


The 25th International Noise Awareness Day was be observed
on April 29, 2020 in a virtual gathering of founders of the original event, along with hearing health advocates, noise activists, and journalists from around the world. The Center for Hearing and Communication founded this global event in 1996 to encourage people all over the world to become more aware of the effects that environmental noise has on health and well-being. You can watch the INAD 2020 virtual gathering here.

SIGNS OF PROGRESS

Educational Curriculum in Schools



The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has created a comprehensive, multidisciplinary teaching module for public schools to introduce students and teachers to topics related to the sound environment. New Yorker Arline Bronzaft, environmental psychologist, noise researcher, and champion of sound education, believes that we should start educating children early on about the dangers of noise. "We must teach young people about the beauty of 'good' sounds and the dangers of harmful sounds." The Right to Quiet Society is impressed with this STEM curriculum, and encourages Vancouver public school administrators to consider implementing this program.

Citizen Science Gains Popularity




Smartphone-based sound level measuring apps have been around for a few years, but they seem to have really taken off during the last year. One New York City quiet seeker has created a directory of mostly quiet eateries using the SoundMeter app, which some consider to be the gold standard in terms of accuracy. The Quiet City Maps author visits establishments, records sound levels, and writes reviews that report on the food and drink, and the sound level, going into a good amount of detail.

The SoundPrint app was developed to measure restaurant, bar, and caf‌é noise so that diners can locate quiet venues where there is better ease of communication, and for some, more enjoyment. People can also search for noisier establishments if they prefer. Either way, users can contribute by taking sound level measurements with the app's internal sound level meter whenever out at a venue, and submitting them to SoundPrint's database, which is collecting data to create "Quiet Venue" lists in several cities both in the US and Canada, and use the data to promote noise pollution awareness. In 2017, two new restaurant sound level measuring apps were developed, and the Right to Quiet Society is happy to know that so many people are interested in working on projects that address restaurant noise.

The Hush City app helps quiet lovers access and evaluate "everyday quiet areas" where they live, and users submit their findings to the app developer's international database. The app developer is an architect and professor who believes that consideration of the sound environment should be an integral part of all building design and urban planning, rather than an afterthought or an aspect to be improved upon later.


Action Alert: Monitor Aircraft Noise (CA)

Real time noise tracking using WebTrak for YVR, an online tool for tracking aircraft within the Metro Vancouver airspace. WebTrak is a noise monitoring and flight tracking system. Read more here. Noise complaint submission form is here.


Action Alert: Write TRAN Committee (CA)

Read Jan Mayes' open letter to government TRAN Committee to assess the impact of aircraft noise in the vicinity of major Canadian airports, and support this effort with your own letter.



Action Alert: Support H.R.3001 (US)


Congress Member Grace Meng of New York has reintroduced the Quiet Communities Act, which would restore funding and activity to the US Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Noise Abatement and Control. This could accelerate research, and provide funding for health education, and increase much needed standard setting, allowing for noise control to occur at the source rather than after the fact. US citizens can use this editable advocacy form letter to urge their representatives to cosponsor proposed House bill H.R.3001, the Quiet Communities Act of 2019.

Read proposed Quiet Communities Act of 2019. If no further action is taken, the proposed bill will expire in January of 2021.

Read the APHA policy statement on environmental noise pollution.

Read APHA Executive Director's letter of support for H.R. 3384, Quiet Communities Act of 2016.

Read the American Academy of Nursing position statement.




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Calendar of meetings and congresses through 2021 compiled by the Information Service of the International Commission for Acoustics


"If we had a category for endangered conditions as we do for endangered species, then quiet would certainly top the list. Quiet has already largely disappeared from many urban areas. There is ever more encroachment of human-generated noise on the soundscape, the "habitat" of quiet, that quiet gets pushed to the brink of extinction."

Excerpt of a letter to the editor of Alive magazine, September 2010, by Hans Schmid.

Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience. Noise must be considered a hazard to the health of people everywhere."

— Dr. William H. Stewart, former Surgeon General of the United States

 
About the Right to Quiet Society To contact us See our sitemap