Noise is all around us, every day. In large cities, outside noise is inescapable. But what does all this noise exposure do to our health?
Why Is Noise Exposure Unhealthy?
The Washington Post investigated noise exposure in New York, and what they found was disturbing:
In a city whose cacophony can reach 95 decibels in Midtown Manhattan — way above the federal government’s recommended average of no more than 70 decibels — the commotion over all that racket involves irate residents, anti-noise advocates, bars, helicopter sightseeing companies, landscapers and construction companies, as well as City Hall. The 311 nonemergency call service gets 50,000 calls a day, and the No. 1 complaint is noise.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, noise below an average of 70 decibels over 24 hours is “safe” and won’t cause hearing loss. In many areas of New York and other densely populated cities, the outdoor noise levels can go well above those safety standards. And the negative health consequences go well beyond just hearing damage.
According to research at the University of Michigan, noise pollution and exposure has been linked to other health problems such as heart disease and mental illness. Because noise is an environmental stressor that impacts sleep, it can contribute to coronary heart disease. These stressors take a toll on the body and cause long-term damage.
What Can be Done to Combat Noise Exposure?
Until new regulations are in place to reduce the amount of noise produced, in large cities noise exposure can be mitigated with acoustic windows. Acoustic windows reduce the amount of outside noise that seeps into buildings. Look for STC and OITC ratings to find the optimal levels of noise mitigation. Our acoustic window experts at St. Cloud window can help you find the best window for your acoustic needs – request a quote today for more information.
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