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Deafening truth of noise pollution


shadiasimpson, [email protected]

Deafening truth of noise pollution

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ONE OF THE MOST MODERN CONVENIENCES, amplified noise, has become a nuisance that causes extreme harm to those unfortunate enough to suffer  at the hands of the inveterate noisemakers who seem  to pervade almost every aspect  of our ear space.
Noise has a necessary place in human existence. Speech is a form of noise, but it is normally used for the conveyance of information from one person to another. Sometimes the amplification of speech  and sound becomes necessary  if there is great distance between the speaker and the hearer.
Yet even when the information is being conveyed to hearers within an enclosed space, some inconsiderate operators find it necessary to amplify the sound so that it can  be heard clearly but obviously  not enjoyed by anyone unfortunate enough to be within 50 yards of  the ear-splitting shot of the sound.  
It seems that noise pollution  has gotten worse. Time was when church services could be conducted with fervour and passion and when the multitudes gathered together  to worship would sing lustily sweeping along with them those sinners who were occupying  the immediate environs outside  the church building.
Alas, where the dance hall  has gone in terms of noise pollution, some churches may have followed by amplifying sound to such an extent that what should be uplifting message designed to feed the souls of those within earshot, now becomes the very instrument  which impairs their health.
The facts are that noise  pollution is a serious health  hazard. Noise pollution affects both  health and behaviour. The damage  can be psychological. Scientific  data suggests that aggression, hypertension, higher than normal stress levels, sleep disturbance  and increased incidence of coronary disease may be among the most widely known of the side effects  of noise pollution.
At one time Mr Carl Moore  and some public spirited Barbadians formed a Society for a Quieter Barbados. Such an organization  was needed then to bring to public attention how much the issue  of excessive noise what had already become a public nuisance.
Developments since the formation of this society have  shown that the efforts of that small but persistent organization must not fall on stony ground. The peace  and quiet, such as it is, of our more recent days and nights is now  being further rudely broken by many a young man who thinks  it important for his self-esteem  to do wheelies weaving in and out  of traffic accompanied by the ear splitting sound which emits from his specially adapted motorcycle  as he dices with sudden death and condemns his unwilling audience  of   pedestrians and “sitting-duck” motorists alike to accelerated onset of non-communicable disease  of a cardiovascular or other nature.
There is a clear need for speedy enactment of noise pollution legislation. We have benefited  in great measure as a country  from the application of modern invention, and we have used  them usefully.
But we cannot allow the modern motor vehicle to be used as an instrument for torture by noise  on our streets any more than  we can allow modern amplification equipment to be used to inflict violence to our psychological  and physical well-being through  the exaggerated bombardment  of our eardrums, whether from the dance hall or any other kind of hall.
It is true that we cannot easily stop our ears from hearing,  but excessive noise can. And that  is a scientific and medical truth!

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