The Impact of Noise Pollution. A Socio-Technological by George Bugliarello, Ariel Alexandre, John Barnes

By George Bugliarello, Ariel Alexandre, John Barnes

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T h e acceptable nocturnal levels which have been proposed until n o w d e p e n d on pure conjecture, if not upon the simple confusion b e t w e e n acceptable sound levels and existing sound levels. 2 0 30 40 50 60 70 80 Peak Truck Noise (dBA) Fig. 3 Changes in stages of sleep in relation to noise intensity at the time of the passing of a truck (Canada). (Source: Thiessen and Olson, 1968. ) The Disturbance to Sleep 49 100 Persons Awakened (%) 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 30 40 50 60 70 (Phons) Fig.

T h e s e three averages are averaged in turn to obtain the hearing loss. The m e t h o d also m a k e s allowance for cases w h e r e the change b e t w e e n the listed frequencies is severe. T h e use of 4000 H z is important b e c a u s e it relates to speech c o m p r e h e n s i o n u n d e r realistic conditions, and to quality of the environment. T h e n u m b e r of people in the United States with noise-induced hearing losses would increase to over 14 million if the losses w e r e defined according to the Australian method versus the 5 million with the A A O O method.

Obviously for a person with a hearing loss at a higher frequency, the quality of the e n v i r o n m e n t as he perceives it has b e e n degraded. T h e preliminary experiments in which w e attempted to assess subjectively the change in the quality of the e n v i r o n m e n t caused by hearing loss has b e e n described earlier in the chapter on A w a r e n e s s (Part I, Chapter 2). Still another group feels that 3000 H z is needed in speech (Harris, 1960; K r y t e r et ai, 1962); others set that value at 4000 H z .

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