Noise and Hospitals

Noise pollution in hospitals doesn't just impede communication between doctors and staff, a new editorial argues. It also affects patients' ability to recover and heal.

I have written about noise in hospitals before.  But last night I found this podcast at 99%Invisible (a great podcast by the way) and figured I would post the link here so you can hear it too.  Some very interesting ideas about how to deal with noise issues in hospitals.

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Update on Toronto and Noise

Toronto has a Noise Coalition, which you can join or follow. Here is a link to their site.

Image result for toronto noise coalition

Just today I got an email from TNC, commenting on the recent changes to Toronto’s approach to noise.  (I posted about these changes yesterday.)  It seems TNC is not completely satisfied by the new bylaws.  You can read their update here.

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Toronto Starts

Image result for Toronto noise

Ah – so good to hear that Toronto is going to start addressing noise in the city. Soon there will be more enforcement of the bylaws about noise.  This crackdown will not affect construction noise or emergency vehicles.  BUT – it will go after “noise scofflaws” – those with loud cars, loud stereos, etc.  Mayor Tory cites it as an health issue, talking about how excessive noise affects peoples’ health.  Yep.  You are right, Mr. Mayor. Here is a link to CBC’s piece on it.

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Noise in the Netherlands

ah – the sound of children playing.  Such a lovely sound.  Unless you live in the Netherlands. They have a noise limit rule there – noise cannot exceed 70 decibels.

Image result for de buut primary school nijmegen

Except there is a playground near some apartment buildings where the noise level created by children playing exceeds that 70 decibel limit.  What to do?  They closed the playground.

Now there is a move afoot to get that decision reversed.  We will see what happens.

You can read a Guardian article about it here.


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Ah, summer is almost here!

Summer Noise

Yes, it is that time of year again.  No more snowblowers outside.  Now we have lawnmowers and leaf blowers.

A number of cities in the USA have banned them.  And some places in Canada have too. Perhaps you can organize such a policy in the city/town you live in?

I couldn’t pass up this great cartoon from the New Yorker.  I suspect I am violating copyright law by posting this – but I do it in good faith.

new yorker cartoon



stihl leaf blower

Have you seen the new Stihl ads for their gardening tools?  Everyone in the ad is wearing ear protection, which is great.  But what about those of us who have to listen to these machines? Do we get ear protection? Nope.

And here is a somewhat older Stihl ad for their leaf blower. Yes, he has ear protection. But still the focus is on using a leaf blower.  He could use a rake.

And then there is this video –  I am not sure if it is for real or not, but ….


(BTW – I am not just picking on Stihl.  All sorts of tool manufacturers make these noisy machines!)

If YOU use a leaf blower, please consider getting rid of it, and using a rake and some leaf bags.

And let’s see if we can get our city councils to ban them. Leaf blowers, not leaves.

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The Nature of Things

The Nature of Things



Alright, all you David Suzuki fans – I just found out that “The Nature of Things” made an episode about  sound, which aired in the 2015-16 season. The episode is promoted as being about “How sound can cure the sick, make the blind see, and change the taste of food.” But there is much more to it than that. There is a seasonally timely section about a company in Vancouver called the Silent Gardener – they use no noisy machines.  (Well, they do use a couple, but they are extremely quiet – a lawnmower and a battery driven weedeater.)  And there is a lovely section about the social and political role of bells in Venice and Florence. And of course, there is quite a bit about noise. You even get to see an old photo of R. Murray Schafer on the steps of Simon Fraser University when the film discusses soundscapes.

Have fun watching it –  here is the link.

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Follow up to the New Yorker article

david owen

The other day I posted a link to a good article about noise pollution by David Owen, published in the New Yorker.

Today, in one of those frequent events that happen on YouTube, where you are watching a video, and down the right hand side appears a menu of YT videos you had no idea you were interested in, I found a video, from the New Yorker’s YouTube site (who knew?), of David Owen talking about noise pollution.  So if you would like a spoken version, with visuals, of Mr. Owen’s article, watch it here.

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