Noise is bad for your health
July 5, 2005
Dear Editor:I am a Colorado native, now living in California. I remember the Aspen of old – pristine, quaint and quiet. I read with great dismay the article about the noise pollution from motorcycles and from, I suspect, other polluters.Noise pollution is the plague of modern America. I am a retired physician with an interest in public health, and I can tell you that there is growing concern about the adverse health, social and economic effects of noise pollution. Noise is not just an annoyance; it is the underlying source of a whole host of ills. In brief, these include hearing impairment, interference with communication, sleep disturbances, adverse cardiovascular effects (hypertension and ischemic heart disease), reduced productivity, impaired learning and job performance, absenteeism, annoyance and accidents, among others. Motorcycle noise, despite the claims to the contrary (which are juvenile and self-serving) is like other forms of noise pollution – unwanted, unnecessary, unhealthy and illegal almost everywhere, including Aspen.What is needed is vigorous and consistent enforcement of existing laws. Only in this way will we recover the right to domestic tranquility, one of the six guarantees in the U.S. Constitution. Those who like noise should recognize that it, unlike quiet, is not so protected. Louis Hagler, M.D.Richmond, Calif.