Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is noise pollution?
Noise pollution is unwanted human-created sound that has the effect of being annoying, distracting, painful, or physically harmful. The word noise comes from the Latin word nausea meaning seasickness.
Aren't there more important issues than noise pollution to be concerned about?
Millions of people are exposed to noise pollution that adversely affects their lives.
We have received thousands of messages from families who cannot sleep at night or live in their own homes because of noise. Sometimes the problem is bad enough that they are forced to move or lacking the financial means, live with the problem in pain.
Is noise pollution a health issue?
Yes, exposure to daily levels of noise pollution causes hearing loss, stress, hypertension, increased blood pressure and headaches. High frequency noise can cause permanent hearing damage; low frequency noise produce pressure waves that can cause nausea and heart palpitations.
In a 2001 US Census survey, 11.8 million households said street or traffic noise was bothersome. An additional 4.5 million residents said it was so bad they wanted to move.
Noise pollution and its harmful effects are recognized by the World Health Organization, United Nations, Environmental Protection Agency, and National Institutes of Health (NIH). According to NIH, more than 10 million people in the United States suffer permanent, noise-induced hearing loss.
Isn't this really about old people who don't like noise?
Some people say, "if it's too loud, you're too old". The stereotype that young people love noise and old people hate noise is perpetuated by consumer marketing. Advertisers pander to the youth culture because they are the most affluent and impressionable demographic. Noise pollution is harmful to people of all age groups.
Who are your members?
Our membership is diverse representing different political views, cultural backgrounds, careers, religious beliefs, races, ethnic groups, sexual orientation, ages and economic classes. We have members from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, France, Greece, Germany, Russia, China, India, and other countries.
If you don't like noise, why don't you move away?
Noise pollution is pervasive. People move to other communities to escape the noise, but all it takes is one noisy neighbor to ruin a neighborhood.
Are you against motorcycling?
No. Many of our supporters ride motorcycles. We are against noise caused by illegal straight pipes.
How does the United States government regulate noise pollution?
In 1972, the U.S. Congress enacted the Noise Control Act. It declared that the policy of the United States is to promote an environment for all Americans to be free from noise that jeopardizes their health or welfare. The Office of Noise Abatement and Control (ONAC), was created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to oversee the impact of noise on the general public.
In 1982, funding to ONAC was eliminated, depriving citizens of federal protection against noise and its deleterious effects. Noise pollution legislation and enforcement is left to local governments.
Why is noise pollution a contentious issue?
Some people feel that they have an inalienable right to make all the noise they want in public and on their own property. If someone lives in a quiet area, they might question why other people complain so much about noise pollution.
Households are not equally represented on environmental issues that may affect them. Less affluent households often live in dense noisy areas and more affluent households live in sparse quiet areas.
Some industries claim that noise mitigation and abatement can negatively impact their business. They argue that noise is a sign of prosperity and attempt to marginalize others who are critical of their policies.
Is noise a free speech issue?
No. Freedom of speech does not include the right to make others a captive audience with noise.
United States Constitution Bill of Rights - First Amendment
Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
What rights do property owners have to make noise?
Property owners do not have absolute rights to do anything they want on their property. Each municipality sets standards for acceptable use. We all share a common environment and we have limited rights to ensure our mutual quality of life.
For instance, your neighbor does not have the right to pollute the air or the ground water because it might adversely affect you and the community.
Is there any chance of reducing noise pollution in the future?
As a coalition of concerned people all around the country and abroad, we are building momentum that will lead to positive change. It's a tough fight, but we have a strong desire to restore our rights as citizens. With your support, we can make that happen.
Is a class action lawsuit possible against companies that produce noise pollution through the use of their products?
There are no grounds for a class action. However, there is the potential to sue one manufacturer for one device used once or multiple times against one individual or a group of individuals. The proof is that there was damage resulting from said use, along with other issues, such as merchantability, suitability for the use intended, improper use, knowledge of the damage, illegality, end effects on the part of the manufacturer.
Is there a device on the market that can remotely disable a car alarm or boom car?
There is no device on the market that can disable a car alarm or a boom car.
How is the group funded?
Our funding and resources come from individual donors. Our group is not orchestrated or influenced by traditional power structures, such as a corporation or a government agency.